Annual Report to Council (2003)

Deep-Sky Observing Section annual report

It is a pleasure to announce to the AGM that two observers have been awarded Observing Certificates. Magda Streicher of Pietersburg will receive a Director’s Award for her set of thorough observations of Jack Bennett’s catalogue. Tony Jones of Cape Town is to receive a General Observer’s Certificate for his set of observations of objects discovered by James Dunlop.

The Director continued his review of historical deep-sky catalogues. Initial results were reported in 2002 November at the 5th ASSA Symposium, entitled “Nonstellar objects in old star catalogues.” This work identified 62 star fields that may contain open cluster remnants. The results were communicated to Bruno Alessi, a Brazilian astronomer studying open clusters.

In 2003 March, the Director helped present a deepsky viewing evening, held at Simonsvlei and hosted by the “Sterre en Planete” radio show broadcast on Radio Sonder Grense.

The Section’s web page, “The Deepsky Observer’s Companion”, was listed in a recent introductory astronomy book as a “valuable resource”; members are reminded that this observing guide is available on the internet for free download, or in printed form for the price of postage. Only one request for the printed guide (from a scholar in Cape Town) was received during the year under review.

The Director is always keen to hear how others see the universe beyond our solar system – so let’s hear from you.

Auke Slotegraaf