The first quarter of the open nights attracted a total 535 people; numbers fluctuate depending on the topic or weather. The Shared Sky exhibition launch at Iziko National Gallery on February 13 brought us a significant number of artists from Nieu Bethesda, Eastern Cape. Additionally, the international tourist numbers attending our talks are slowly increasing each month, hopefully there will be a substantial number during the peak season.
Our programme has received tremendous help from Dr. Luke Tyas who took over the running of the McClean telescope after Dougie’s retirement. We are grateful to him for his selfless dedication and fun talks about all things astronomy which kept the public so entertained they even forgot the telescope was not open. Zwido and Elias have taken over the reigns, thanks to Pierre van Heerden for training them on how to use the McClean. This organic transfer of skills keeps our programme going, thanks a lot Pierre.
The titles of the talks for January were :
What people think I do, versus what I really do – David Gilbank
Our place in the Universe – Bruno Letarte
Computational Cosmology: Modelling the Universe on a Supercomputer – Prof. Romeel Davé
In search of binary central stars of planetary nebulae – Brent Miszalski
When asteroids hit the Earth – Prof. David Trilling
A brief history of X-ray astronomy in the context of interacting binary stars – Lee Townsend
Doing astronomy the hard(ware) way: Reflections on travels with instrumentation – Prof. Ted Williams
MeerLICHT: an optical eye on the radio sky – Vanessa McBride
Making movies about making history: A passion for science discovery – Kai Staats
Looking into the Dark: The telescopes of Sutherland – Willie Koorts
Working screening of ‘Black Sun’ – Jarita Holbrook
Intermediate Mass Black Holes: The missing link – Liz Bartlett