Cape Centre News Letter, 08th July 2014

New Committee

Congratulations to Frank Jacobs on being elected the new Chair and Eddy Nijeboer as Vice Chair of Cape Centre! Wishing you and the rest of the committee all the best for the coming year’s activities. With George Abrahams as Treasurer and Wendy Vermeulen as Secretary, and the support of Richard Sessions & Lia Labuschagne, the year should be a good one!
We hope every single member of Cape Centre will give enthusiastic and active support to the new committee.
Meanwhile, here is an announcement that may interest all who get involved with education and/outreach programmes:

The South African Astronomical Observatory, HartRAO, Iziko Planetarium, University of the Western Cape, and North West University, announce a Free Cultural Astronomy workshop for school teachers and university students July 12 & 13, 2014.

Cultural Astronomy is a different way of looking at the sky!
Astronomy and Astrophysics focuses on celestial objects and celestial phenomena. Cultural Astronomy focuses on people and the many ways that they relate to the sky!

The university student workshop is training on how to do cultural astronomy research which combines astronomy with history, anthropology, folklore, archeology, indigenous knowledge studies and art history.

The school teacher workshop is to help South African teachers integrate indigenous knowledge studies with cultural astronomy into their lesson plans.

Both will have the opportunity to interact and ask questions of international experts.

For more information about the workshops see

RSVP is required to

The following people are involved in the programme:

Professor Clive Ruggles, University of Leicester, UK. Dark Skies
Awareness, Stonehenge, Stone Circles, Burial Tombs. Clive is best
known for his work on megalithic sites in the United Kingdom and his
promotion of the study of such sites in relation to sky and landscape.
He has been working with the UNESCO Starlight initiative which works
to preserve dark skies through the creation of starlight “parks.”
Along with colleagues he has been studying the indigenous astronomy of
the Hawaiian Islanders.

 Emilia Pasztor, Museum Thorma Janos, Kiskunhalas, Hungary.
Archaeology of Carpathian Basin, artifacts and cosmology,
interpretation of artifacts. Emilia studies the archeological sites
and material remains found in the Carpathian Basin in Hungary. Her
research spans the Neolithic and Bronze ages. She is known for
connecting material remains to the cosmological concepts of ancient
peoples which are very different from our cosmologies today.

Prof Jarita Holbrook, University of the Western Cape. With NRF
funding, Jarita is building a research group “Astronomy & Society” at
the UWC. Interdisciplinary in nature, the project seeks to interrogate
astronomy in South Africa through a humanistic and social scientific
lens. This conference is a training opportunity for UWC and other
South African students interested in learning the research techniques,
theories, and major results from similar research being done in other
parts of the world.

Prof Thebe Medupe, North West University Mafikeng. Thebe is among the
first Black South African PhD Astrophysicists, however he has an
interest in indigenous African astronomy. Perhaps, best known for his
starring role in the film “Cosmic Africa,” his cultural astronomy
research centers on the Timbuktu manuscripts found in Mali.

 Dr. Ian Glass, SAAO, history of astronomy in Cape Town. Ian has been
active in the history of astronomy with a focus on South Africa and
Cape Town. He will be speaking about the history of the Observatory
for which the Cape Town neighborhood Observatory is named.

 Sivuyile Manxoyi, is the leader of the SAAO Education and Outreach
Unit , which focuses on communicating and education the public about
astronomy, specializing using indigenous languages and cultures in
inspiring particularly the township based people to engage and
participate in astronomy.

Contact Jarita Holbrook