Cape Centre News Letter, 09th June 2014 & Invitation to AGM

Dear Cape Centre members and friends

Please remember there is no Cape Centre meeting on Wednesday – this month’s formal will take place next week (15 June).

Upcoming Events

Formal meeting 18 June: Roger Deane, SKA postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Cape Town, will present a talk on supermassive black hole systems.   He says about this talk that ‘Multiple supermassive black hole (SMBH) systems have long been predicted to play an important role in galaxy evolution and be strong emitters of gravitational waves. I will provide an overview of these exotic systems, highlighting our recent discovery of second closest binary SMBH system known. In addition, there is a third black hole making this the ‘tightest’ triple SMBH system yet. I’ll discuss how this exciting science will be driven forward by the future African VLBI Network, MeerKAT and the SKA, and how it will contribute to the direct detection of gravitational waves.’

Talk on 25 June: Laure Catala (UCT/SAAO) will be our speaker on the topic Light matters.

Cape Centre AGM on 9 July:  This year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Cape Centre of ASSA will take place on 9 July.The relevant documentation (agenda, minutes of the previous meeting and nomination form) are attached herewith. If you need a printed copy during the meeting itself, kindly bring along your own since we are trying to avoid making an unnecessary number of copies. If you have something to add to the agenda, please let us know since that can still be added under ‘any other business’.

16 July:  Dr Bernard Fanaroff of the SKA will give an overview of the latest developments at the SKAWe will be privileged to be able to hear some of these details directly from Dr Fanaroff, who has an extremely full programme both locally and internationally.

13 August: Prof Michael Feast will talk about the discovery of the first known stars in the flared disk of the Milky Way. These stars are situated on the far side of our Galaxy, 80 thousand light years from the Earth and beyond the Galactic Centre. This discovery has been covered quite widely in the press and the results of the work done by Prof Feast (University of Cape Town – UCT, SAAO), Dr John Menzies (SAAO), Dr Noriyuki Matsunaga (the University of Tokyo, Japan) and Prof Patricia Whitelock (SAAO, UCT)  will also feature in the international journal Nature. Prof Feast will tell us more about their research and findings.

SAAO Open Nights in June

14 June: Prof. Thomas Jarrett (UCT) will present a talk entitled Dust in the Wind: the life and times of Starburst Galaxies in the Universe:

Invisible to conventional telescopes and lurking deep within their dusty birth cocoons, starburst galaxies were only discovered in the 1980’s with space telescopes and infrared sensing technology. Characterised by ferocious consumption of their interstellar gas in the formation of massive stars, these galaxies exhibit one of the most extreme growth phases during their interminable evolution. Energy trapped from such intense star formation excites the rich gas and dust reservoir producing ‘glow in the dark’ infrared radiation. Because of this outstanding feature, starbursts are ideal laboratories to study the often complex (feedback) interaction between the formation of stars and their powerful winds, their evolving environment and the phys ical mechanisms that energise the interstellar medium. In this presentation, Prof. Jarrett will review the history and current state of studies in starburs ts galaxies, as well as discuss how the SKA-era will open new windows towards understanding the starburst phase of galaxy evolution.

28 June: Dr. Lerothodi Leeuw (UNISA) will present a talk entitled Light in natural optics – from droplets to gravitational lenses.

Other Events

18 June: RASSAf/ASSAf public lecture on supervolcanoes

The Royal Society of South Africa and the Academy of Science of South Africa are inviting to a public lecture by Prof. Chris Harris (UCT) entitled Supervolcanoes, large igneous provinces, and their geological and historical significance. Please see the attached invitation for the details.