On 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.
Attractions this year include talks by noted astronomers, science shows and workshops for kids. A portable digital planetarium will also be set up, running shows throughout the day. Other attractions include telescope making and astrophotography stands, where experts will show off their skills. It wouldn’t be an expo without a number of commercial stands, where you can buy telescopes, cameras and accessories, and drinks and hot meals are available throughout the day.
The festivities start at 9:am, and continue right through till 9pm. After dark, there will be an informal star party, where you and your family can look through the telescopes and see the wonders of the universe for yourselves. Already own a telescope, or thinking of buying one from one of the commercial stands? Feel free to set it up and join us!
The organisers of ScopeX do not charge an entrance fee, but the Museum of Military History does. It’s R30 for adults, R25 for learners and students, and R15 for senior citizens. For a full program of events, and directions to the museum, visit the ScopeX website.
I will be there most of the day, and you should too! If you’d like to come chat, I’ll be running the Astrophotography stand andshould be easy to find until 5pm when I’ll be presenting a talk at 5pm titled “Astrophotography: How to create beautiful images of the night sky”. See you there!