Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Official Opening of the Naval Hill Digital Planetarium

Official Opening of the Naval Hill Digital Planetarium in Bloemfontein, South Africa

Live Streaming

Friday 1 November 2013 

10:45 - 13:00

The University of the Free State (UFS) is implementing an innovative and exciting project, namely the establishment of a ‘Centre for Earth and Space’ on Naval Hill in the centre of Bloemfontein. 
The 86-year old Lamont-Hussey Observatory on Naval Hill, also known as the Sterrewag Theatre, is home to the planetarium. The planetarium is the first component of a proposed Centre for Earth and Space.

Earth-sized 'lava world' discovered

Source: BBC Science and Environment

A doomed "lava world" with a similar mass and density to that of Earth has been discovered orbiting a star 400 light-years away.

Observations suggest the planet, named Kepler 78b, is composed mostly of rock and iron, much like our own planet.
But its extremely close proximity to its host star - a hundredth of the distance between the Earth and the Sun - remains something of a puzzle.
Details of the work by two teams of researchers appear in Nature journal.


Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Priceless to me - Letter from Sir Patrick Moore

Click to enlarge!

Ok, Sir Patrick Moore did not write directly to me! I was dwelling in the Bibliophile in Clarens looking for the big catch. After all Clarens is a quiet little drinking  town with a fishing problem! And if you're not the fishing kind of man, then the place to hang out is the Bibliophile.

That was where I found the second hand book - Brilliant Stars written  by Patrick Moore. And inside, with some newspaper clippings, was this letter, typed on that famous typewriter and signed by that legendary astronomer - Sir Patrick Moore.

A Mister DW Suchterlonie from Clarens wrote to Moore asking about the absolute and apparent  magnitude of Sirius  on page 13. He received the above letter from Moore.

In another book - Stars and Planets of the Southern Hemisphere (Lionel Warner) DW Suchterlonie wrote his name and also Planetarium, 3rd April 1982 in the front cover. Anyone from ASSA Johannesburg recognizing the name?

- Hannes Pieterse

Sunday, 27 October 2013