Tuesday, 3 March 2015

CTARC Pictures of SAAO Meeting 2/2 - 28 Feb '15

Report - Photos Batch One  - Photos Batch Two

After the picnic, at around 19h00 we moved inside into the SAAO lecture theatre and Ruby kindly gave us a talk on the Meerkat and Square Kilometer Array radio astronomy projects. It was very, very interesting. Ruby deftly answred a number of texhnical questions about the project in particular, and radio astronomy in general.

After that talk finished around 19h30, the formal SAAO lecture and slide show took place. Those who wanted to sit in and listen to that could, while others had the chance to see the telescope itself and the adjacent Astronomy Museum.

Above: The talk started with a brief description of the various radioastronomy
projects under the auspices of the National Research Foundation (NRF)

Above: The very erudite and scientifically-supercharged Ruby!

Above: A control panel for an array of dishes, individually switchable (remotely)
as required

Above: Different dish designs in use at Meerkat and the SKA

Above: It may interest you to know that South Africa has its own Moon Mission

Above: The formal SAAO lecture, "In Search of Binary Central Stars of Planetary
Nebulea" followed Ruby's talk on radio astronomy

Above: A diesel engine used to power the raising floor

Above: A truly magnificent piece of optical equipment.

We discovered that the floor could be raised to meet the telescope's eyepieces!

Above: The hand (below left) gives a sense of scale

Above: In the telescope observation room

Above: The correct "top of the hour" was signaled to the harbourmaster, using this
signal pistol. Mariners could then accurately adjust their chronometers

Above: A very accurate chronometer

Above: A poster showing how accurate time is communicated

Above: Aneroid barometers and weather instruments

Above: Standard measurement bars, thermometers and instruments

A bucket of Leopard Toads, lovingly collected each dusk by a staff member
then released again after the guests have left, so the toads don't get squashed!