Cape Centre News Letter, 02nd September 2014

Dear Cape Centre members and friends,

Below is some news about our forthcoming events and  field trips, and a few notes of general importance.

Upcoming Events 10 September, 20:00, SAAO Auditorium: Professor  Wolfgang Steinicke is visiting Cape Town. He is a noted historian of astronomy – specifically, the history of deep-sky observing – and has agreed to give a talk about John Herschel’s Cape observations in the 1800s. Not only should this be a fascinating talk but since he is a guest of ASSA Deep Sky  Section,  and we are presenting this talk in cooperation with that section, he will be introduced by Auke Slotegraaf.   There will be some  better-than-usual snacks available that evening, so don’t miss the opportunity to come and listen to the talk and socialise afterwards.

12 November, 20:00, SAAO Auditorium:  The Head of the Department of Nuclear Physics at the University of Stellenbosch, Prof Shaun Wyngaardt will present a talk on neutrinos.  Come and hear more about these very small, sub-atomic particles.

SAAO Open Nights

13 September, 20:00, SAAO Auditorium: Prof. Thebe Medupe (North West University) will present a talk entitledAstronomy in Africa: The ancient manuscripts of Timbuktu.

27 September 20:00, SAAO Auditorium:  Prof. Russ Taylor (Joint SKA Research Chair UCT & UWC) will present a talk entitled South African Radio Astronomy: The Road to the SKA. This will be followed by a tour of the site and (weather permitting) star gazing. 

Iziko Planetarium

Starfinder Astronomy Course: This will run at 19:30 on four Wednesday evenings starting on 1st October. For more information on this and other events:

The UCT Summer School extension programme

2 September at 18:00: Prof Don Kurtz (University of Central Lancashire) will speak about “Planets and Pulsations: The New Keplerian Revolution”.

25 September 18:00: Dr Robin Catchpole (Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, will give a talk entitled “Are we star dust or nuclear waste?”.

Also coming in November 2014:  A short course on ASTRONOMY IN THE CAPE with excursion to Sutherland. For more information see:

Other Upcoming Events

Details of  talks on astronomy and other scientific topics can be seen on the websites of the Science Café, the Cape Town Science Centre and the Royal Society of South Africa.

Field Trips

 9 – 21 September, Stargazing Weekend at Bonnievale : Regretfully this has had to be cancelled.

Trip to Carnarvon (SKA) and Sutherland (SALT) : The weekend of 1 to 3 November has been decided for this tour. More details will be supplied shortly.
21 – 23 November, The Southern Star Party, Spring 2014 : Another enjoyable gathering of stargazing enthusiasts of all levels of expertise. For more information see the SSP and the ELF astronomy websites:

General Note

Newsletter, membership fees and database

Our newsletter is one of the services intended for our members in good standing.  Please take note that we are updating our database and are ensuring that only paid-up members of Cape Centre  (as well as honorary members, speakers, the secretariat of the other ASSA centres, media contacts and a few VIPs) will receive this regular newsletter in future.  Please let us know if, as a qualifying  member or speaker,  you do not receive your copy as of the beginning of September.   

Other services that are available only to paid-up members are the use of our library, being eligible to rent telescopes belonging to Cape Centre, and attendance of formal talks (we do allow non-members to attend up to three talks; thereafter we require membership). Paid-up members get preferential booking for excursions where space is limited.

So if you have not yet paid your subs for this year, please do so soon?


Don’t forget to look us up on Facebook and ‘like’ our page there if you have not done so yet.   We share a lot of information about events etc, but also some information of a general astronomy-interest nature on that page.

Please let us know if there is news that you may be aware of and that may also interest our other members.  Direct your mail at the general Cape Centre e-mail address and we’ll be happy to consider your item for inclusion.

Kind regards

Your Cape Centre Committee

Cape Centre of  the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa
P O Box 13018, Mowbray, 7705, CAPE TOWN

088 123 1634 | starline: 088 131 1001 | |

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