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THE DEVELOPMENT OF ASTRONOMY IN SOUTHERN AFRICA: 1652–2020

Dr Ian Glass, South African Astronomical Observatory

This illustrated course will cover the history of astronomy in southern Africa from the simple observation of a comet by Van Riebeeck in 1652 to the development of the Square Kilometre radio telescope array today . There were short visits by French and German astronomers as well as those by la Caille, whose work showed that the Cape was an ideal southern hemisphere base . When the British astronomical community decided in 1820 to set up a permanent observatory to complement the Royal Greenwich Observatory the Cape Colony was the obvious choice, leading to the establishment of the South African Astronomical Observatory . The twentieth century saw the development of radio and infrared astronomy and observations from space . The increase of artificial lighting made city-based observatories uncompetitive, which led to the construction of the Sutherland observatory in 1972 . This has been followed by the construction of SALT, KAT, MeerKAT and the SKA.

 

LECTURE TITLES

1. First astronomers

2. The Royal Observatory, Cape of Good Hope

3. The age of astrophysics

 

 

Date: Monday 6–Wednesday
Time: 5.00 pm 
COURSE FEES Full R354 Staff & Students R177
Venue: LT2 Kramer Law Building UCT