This is episode five of this season of the Urban Astronomer Podcast. As usual, this being the 4th show of the month, we have an Interview episode today, and this is the one that gets us back to our scheduled order of things. You’ll remember two episodes ago, we were supposed to interview Dr Rosalind Skelton of the South African Astronomical Observatory. Unfortunately, I messed up somewhere and the recordings we’d made well in advance of the show were lost. Luckily we were able to shuffle the slot with another guest, also from SAAO. Anyway, I’ve spoken to Dr Skelton again and this time everything went as planned.
Dr Rosalind Skelton
Dr Skelton is a SALT Astronomer at the South African Astronomical Observatory in Cape Town. She is part of the team of astronomers who manage the SALT telescope operations and observe on behalf of all the SALT partners. Her research within the field of galaxy formation and evolution currently concentrates on the impact of mergers on the growth of galaxies, the mechanisms that shut down star formation in galaxies, environmental effects within groups and cluster of galaxies and large but faint “ultra-diffuse” galaxies.
In a few weeks, on 14 September, I will be at ScopeX, at the Military History Museum in Johannesburg, South Africa. ScopeX is an astronomy and telescope fair held every year It is packed with amateur telescope making displays, science shows, commercial telescope vendors, and public lectures in the auditorium. I will be presenting a talk on Orbital Mechanics, demonstrated through the medium of Kerbal Space Program. So basically, I’ll be playing games to demonstrate the physics of space travel. Other speakers include Case Rijsdijk, president of the Astronomical Society of South AFrica, Dr Pieter Kotze of the Hermanus Magnetic Observatory, Prof Roger Deane of the University of Pretoria, Martin Heigan, who is the section director of ASSA, and David Rogers who will be speaking on “Fifty Years after Apollo – with so much going wrong, how did they get it right?”
Name an Exoplanet
The IAU have assigned South Africans to come up with a name for an exoplanet and its star, which have the official designatons of WASP 62 and WASP 62b. You can enter as either a private individual, or as a school or other organization. If one of your suggestions is chosen for the shortlist, you will win something. The prize for individuals is fully paid a trip to Sutherland, for a tour of SAAO’s telescopes. Organizations, however, get a 6″ telescope, a selection of astronomy books for their library, and training on how to use it all. Suggested names have to comply with standard IAU naming rules