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Venus Rising

Venus Rising: South African Astronomical Beliefs, Customs and Observations, written by Dr Peter G. Alcock, examines traditional South African celestial knowledge, ranging from the Venda in the north to the /Xam San (Bushman) in the south. Topics discussed include eclipses, comets, meteors, place names, stories, poetry and riddles as well as other linguistic expressions which are linked to the heavens. Readers, reinforced with information contained in this book, are invited to scan the night skies from a truly South African perspective. The complete book is available as a free PDF on our website. (Find out more)

Michael (Mike) Gaylard

Dr. Mike Gaylard, Director of the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory, passed away on Thursday, August 14. Dr Gaylard was instrumental in the conceptualisation of the African Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) Network (AVN), a vision to have a network of radio astronomy telescopes throughout Africa, and actively participated in and championed its development. He also headed the Science Awareness Outreach Programme at HartRAO, and was among the key people who helped get the National Astronomy and Space Science Programme (NASSP) started. (NRF Press Release)

ScopeX 2014

ScopeX – the nation’s largest telescope and astronomy expo – will be held on 13 September at the Military History Museum, Saxonwold (next to the Johannesburg Zoo). The programme for the day includes talks, science shows, workshops for ages 13-17 and 6 – 10, digital planetarium shows, telescope making and astrophotography demos, sale of commercial telescopes and accessories, and a star show from 6pm when young and old can come and enjoy the night sky through telescopes. Find out more at www.scopex.co.za.

2014 Symposium

The 10th ASSA Symposium, to be held in Durban, has been cancelled.

What's up this August

What's up

Between the 1st and 31st of August, the Sun has moved 9.3° southward and the length of the day has increased by 41.2 minutes. New Moon is on Monday, August 25. The Full Moon on Sunday, August 10, is the largest Full Moon for the year. Mercury can be se …

Find out more

An overview of upcoming celestial and ASSA-related events appears on the Events page. Details about these and other astronomical events will be found in the Sky Guide, the astronomical handbook for Southern Africa, available from leading book sellers.

Scholarships for 2014 awarded

ScholarshipHoldersThe ASSA Scholarship for 2014 has been awarded to Freya Bovim, and the SAAO-ASSA Scholarships have been awarded to Verlon Etsebeth, Dean De Villiers and Francois Botha. (find out more)

2014 Highlights

Recent sightings

Browse the “Report A Sighting” archives for ongoing investigations of recent sightings, including those by Grant B. (2014 Jan 02), Albie M., Isabel R. & Alex A. (2013 Dec 31), and Alison F. (2013 Dec 21). (browse archive)