Friday, 23 July 2010

"On August 27th Mars will look as large as the full moon."

Those are snippets from a widely-circulated email. Only the first sentence is true. The Red Planet is about to be spectacular. The rest is a hoax.

Here are the facts: Earth and Mars are converging for a close encounter this year on October 30th at 0319 Universal Time. Distance: 69 million kilometers. To the unaided eye, Mars will look like a bright red star, a pinprick of light, certainly not as wide as the full Moon.

Disappointed? Don't be. If Mars did come close enough to rival the Moon, its gravity would alter Earth's orbit and raise terrible tides.

Sixty-nine million km is good. At that distance, Mars shines brighter than anything else in the sky except the Sun, the Moon and Venus. The visual magnitude of Mars on Oct. 30, 2005, will be -2.3. Even inattentive sky watchers will notice it, rising at sundown and soaring overhead at midnight.

You might remember another encounter with Mars, about two years ago, on August 27, 2003. That was the closest in recorded history, by a whisker, and millions of people watched as the distance between Mars and Earth shrunk to 56 million km. This October's encounter, at 69 million km, is similar. To casual observers, Mars will seem about as bright and beautiful in 2005 as it was in 2003.

Although closest approach is still months away, Mars is already conspicuous in the early morning. Before the sun comes up, it's the brightest object in the eastern sky, really eye-catching. If you have a telescope, even a small one, point it at Mars. You can see the bright icy South Polar Cap and strange dark markings on the planet's surface.

One day people will walk among those dark markings, exploring and prospecting, possibly mining ice from the polar caps to supply their settlements. It's a key goal of NASA's Vision for Space Exploration: to return to the Moon, to visit Mars and to go beyond.

Every day the view improves. Mars is coming–and that's no hoax.
Original Source: NASA News Release

Tyd om jou Lidmaatskap te hernu of om aan te sluit.

 Hernu jou lidmaatskap by die Bloemfontein Sterrekundevereniging
of sluit aan.

Besoek die webtuiste.

    Dis weer tyd om jou lidmaatskap by die Sterrekunde vereniging van Suid-Afrika te hernu of om aan te sluit .

    Besoek hulle webblad  om die aansoekvorm af te laai en ook om meer te wete te kom van die vereniging.

    Sunday, 18 July 2010

    Nuwe verbeterde : "Star Gazer’s Deep Space Atlas, Outdoor Viewing" (Herhaling)

    Op 1 Junie 2009 het ek die eerste keer oor die "Star Gazer’s Deep Space Atlas, Outdoor Viewing" geskryf. Nou is die die nuwe verbeterde weergawe hier.  Dit is nou beskikbaar. Bestel dit gerus.
    Hoekom die opgewondnheid.
    • Dit is vir die Suidelike halfrond saamgestel. 
    • Dit is gemaak om buite by jou teleskoop of verkyker gebruik te word
    • Blaaie is doubestand. Wonderlik vir die vroegoggende buite.
    • Bladsyagtergrond is swart met wit teks en voorwerpe daarop.
    • Konstellasies in die naghemel word maklik opgespoor.
    • So ook die voorwerpe in die naghemel.
    • Daar is `n “Sky Tour” om jou te help om die boek te gebruik.
    • Kwaliteit drukwerk 
    • Lees weer 1 Junie se blog in die argief.
    • Baie ekstra inligting oor sterrekunde berskikbaar.
    •  Daar is geen sokkerstatistiek in nie. Niks van FIFA nie.

      Meer inligting en voorbeeldbladsye is hier beskikbaar:

      1& 3 is dieselfde. Bestelinligting is by 1 beskikbaar.
      2 & 3 is dieselfde voorbeeldbladsye
    1. Voorbeeldbladsye en kontakinligting in Powerpoint. Klik hier (2M)
    2. Voorbeeldbladsye en kontakinligting in PDF-formaat . Klik hier  (2M)
    3. Inligting op webblad. Klik hier
    4. Opsommende inligting en hoe om die atlas te bestel:  Klik hier

    To order a copy, please contact:
     For more info contact Wayne:
     Cell072 465 7739.

    Title: Star Gazers Deep Space Atlas, Outdoor viewing.
    Author: Wayne Mitchell.
    ISBN: 978-0-620-41105-9.
    Edition: Second.  Published: April 2010.
    Size: A5 (210x150 mm)
    Pages: 270. Laminated covers and varnished inner pages.
    Cost: R399. Registered postage (including tracking number) R65.      


    Hannes Pieterse

    Atlas release date: Mid June 2010
    Atlas release date: Mid June 2010

    KAROO STARPARTY 2010 (Herhaling)

    Dit het klein begin in 2009. 
    Skud jou reg vir Suid Afrika se eie Karoo "starparty" in 2010.
    Naas ScopeX gaan hierdie die geleentheid wees om elke jaar by te woon.
    Kom pluk `n ster in die Karoo!

    Plek: Kambro Padstal by Britstown   GPS S30°-25-00.3 E23°-33-56.1
    Datum: 6 - 9 Augustus 2010
    Hoe ver: Klik hier   N1 en N10 = 413km    of R64     N12   = 428km
    (Bloefontein tot by Britstown)
    Southern African biennial Symposium of the ASSA

    The Pretoria branch of ASSA is proud to announce the dates for the Southern African biennial Symposium of the ASSA. The symposium will take place at the Silverton campus of the Council for Geoscience on Thursday 7 October 2010 and Friday 8 October 2010. Click to download a pdf or doc registration file with full information.The symposium will focus on light/spectrum pollution and people interested in delivering papers are invited to send a short synopsis to the Committee. See detail at: download pdf document

    • More information from: Andrie van der Linde, cellphone: 0836324894 or e-mail