This years ScopeX telesope and astronomy expo is fast approaching, and if you’re anywhere near Johannesburg, South Africa on 20 July, I’d strongly recommend you join us there. This year they have a full line-up of speakers, including repeats of some of the more popular presentations from last year’s ASSA symposium. A full program of talks can be found at the official ScopeX website. There will also be demonstrations of rocketry and telescope making, science shows by Experilab, and a telescope auction.
But the main highlight, as it’s been since the first ScopeX in 2002, will be the astrophotography competition, and the amateur-built telescope awards. The winners of the different categories of these two competitions will walk away with various prizes generously supplied by one of ScopeX’s many commercial sponsots. If you haven’t made a telescope or snapped any photo’s of the heavens recently, but would still like a chance to win something, you can also buy a raffle ticket for the biggest prize of all: a Canon EOS 60Da camera with a 10-22mm EF-S USM lens. The ‘a’ in the model name shows that this is a variant of the flagship 60D model which has been enhanced for astronomical useage – the low-pass filter which protects the 18 megapixel sensor allows more infrared light through than in regular models, for better sensitivity of stars and other astronomical objects. Tickets are limited, though, so be sure to get in line behind me early!
ScopeX is held at the Museum of Military History in Saxonwold. It begins at 9am, and although events are only scheduled till 5pm, the star party begins when it gets dark and carries on till 9pm, so if you’d like to look through some of the telescopes on display, be sure to hang around till the end!
Entrance to the museum costs R25 for adults, and R15 for children and senior citizens. Feel free to print out copies of the flyer below and put them up on the notice boards at your school and office.