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ScopeX 2014

ScopeXOn 13 September, South Africa's amateur astronomers and telescope makers will converge on the Military History Museum in Saxonwold, Johannesburg, for the annual ScopeX Telescope and Astronomy Exhibition.  ScopeX has run continuously for thirteen years, and has attracted the support of the National Research Foundation, the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA), the Department of Science and Technology (DST), and numerous commercial sponsors. Read more about ScopeX 2014

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Video of the Supermoon rising

Supermoon, by Allen VersfeldI was recently approached by Slooh to provide footage for their Supermoon show last Sunday.  Slooh runs a network of telescopes around the world and provides their customers with remote access to them for a small fee, but also broadcasts live shows for significant astronomical events.  Now no astronomer really cares about Supermoons, because they're not rare and not easy to tell apart from regular full moons, but it seems to get the public excited and that's really important.  If we can leverage the hype to get people looking up and paying attention to the universe around them, well why look a gift horse in the mouth?   Read more about Video of the Supermoon rising

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An Asteroid Occultation

Bosman Olivier and Allen Versfeld, Patientia occultationLast Sunday, 20 July 2014, a small group of amateur astronomers sat in wait around a collection of small, jury-rigged telescopes, monitoring a faint nameless star in the constellation Virgo.  At about 7:18pm, with no drama or prelude, it winked out.  Eleven seconds later, it reappeared, shining steadily and dimly as before.  And yet only a handful of people could have seen this - observers anywhere else on Earth would have seen nothing out of the ordinary.   So what happened to the star, catalogue number HIP 65106, that caused it to vanish to some witnesses yet not to others? Read more about An Asteroid Occultation

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