2016 has almost come to an end, making it time for the Christmas edition of the Carnival of Space! A lot has happened in space science and astronomy this year, so it’s fitting that this should be an extra well packed bumper edition with plenty of articles for you to enjoy as you unwind from the madness of yesterdays festivities!
Some months back, the Astronomical Society of South Africa (ASSA) decided use the upcoming partial annular solar eclipse to promote astronomy in South Africa, and perhaps drum up a few new members for ASSA. Now ASSA has decades of experience with public outreach, but they wanted to try something new: video. My brief, as a committee volunteer, was to help them to live-stream an eclipse. Overall, we felt we’d succeeded in the end, but there were definitely some lessons worth learning. … Continue reading →
Another week, another Carnival of Space. It’s an interesting time for Urban Astronomer, what with weather interfering with our plans at helping out with an international amateur collaboration to measure the distances to asteroids and the announcement date for our next big secret project looming (it’s a podcast. Launching next year, in February. Don’t tell anybody! Shh!). We’re so busy, but not producing any visible results. But soon the new year will roll around, the weather will change, our funding situation … Continue reading →
Well it’s been an amazing week for amateur astronomers here in South Africa. After weeks of frantic last-minute preparations, the annual ScopeX telescope and astronomy expo ran without a hitch on Saturday, and I think it was a huge success. We had a good turnout from the Amateur Telescope Making community, the astrophotography competition was well supported, and our special guests were a real hit with their talks in the auditorium. Francis O’Reilly of the famous Stellafane telescope building club, flew … Continue reading →
Every now and then, we get asked to review astronomy tools. This time it’s a nifty app called Cosmic Watch, available on both Android and iOS devices. It was written by a team of Swiss developers, and at its core is simply an astronomical clock. But as you explore the beautiful interface, and work through its many options, it becomes clear that the app offers so much more. Features So what exactly is an ‘astronomical clock’? According to the Cosmic … Continue reading →