Urban Astronomer

I have been a keen amateur astronomer for as long as I can remember. When I was a small child, my parents would borrow library books on astronomy and my grandparents would arrange for members of the local astronomical society to come and visit me. When I started High School, my uncle gave me my first telescope, and as the years passed he loaned me a series of more powerful instruments which I treasured and used for many years till I eventually had to return them.
As I got older, I dropped out of university and discovered a more interesting way to spend my evenings. Those years of hard partying till the sun came up seemed like the best fun a young bachelor could ever have, but I never stopped glancing upwards and keeping track of which planets were visible, and the phase of the moon. Eventually I met the right girl, got married, and started a family. Without the distraction of smoky bars and pumping nightclubs, my gaze once more turned skywards. So I joined the Astronomical Society of South Africa (ASSA), and registered at the University of South Africa (A distance university) to finish the degree I’d abandoned so many years before. If all goes to plan, I should have completed my degree and started BSc Honours in Astronomy in about four years time.
But four years is a long time. How to keep the passion alive in a suburban backyard, with no telescope, trees blotting out most of the sky, and bright security lights drowning out the stars? Check my updates regularly and find out how I do it!
Update: It’s been a few years since I wrote the above.  My studies continue to crawl along, my family has grown, and I now have a pretty respectable telescope.  I also moved to the country where the skies are darker, and the weather fiercer.  I should technically rename this web property to Rural Astronomer, but I think the old name has a certain quality to it!


Urban Resolution

Jody Terblanche is the owner and grand-master of www.urbanresolution.com

Jody is an artist and graphic designer from Pretoria, South Africa. He specialises in T-Shirt design and comic book illustration. He has a small white fluffy dog that needs brushing regularly because the hair on the dog is quite curly making it difficult to get the knots out. When not brushing his dog he turns his hand to designing websites and illustrating extraordinary monsters, skulls, blobby things and Tim Burton-esque creatures. He is currently working on an illustrated book of “unseen creatures” and story-boarding a short indie film for online release in 2011. His work can be viewed and downloaded in royalty-free vector format on the Urban Resolution website.


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Comments?  Questions?  Why not mail me at uastronomer@gmail.com

About Allen Versfeld

Allen is an amateur astronomer, an IT professional, a podcaster, a father of five beautiful kids and a barely competent chess player. He is also the director of the Astrophotography Section of the Astronomical Society of South Africa, where he coordinates and promotes the activities of people who are far better photographers than him.


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