2005 - ASSA Bloemfontein Centre Archives

Meetings during the year

29 January 2005: Boyden Observatory, Roberts archives and Boyden instrument cleaning at 14h00 and Quarterly Meeting at 19h00.
The afternoon started where a team of amateur astronomers, assisted by Dr. Matie Hoffman of Boyden Observatory, when through some of the notes left at Boyden by the prolific amateur variable star observer, Senator A.W. Roberts. They specifically searched for hand written notes made by him which may throw some light on the recorded data.
Afterwards, during the afternoon, the members started cleaning some of the Boyden telescopes and its optics (13 inch and 10 inch Metcalf).
The first quarterly meeting for 2005 started at 19h00 at Boyden. About 15 members attended. Braam van Zyl gave members a guided tour through the 2005 Sky Guide booklet. Afterwards a discussion was led by the chairman, Gerrit Penning, on the plans and activities for 2005. Valuable ideas and tips from members were received.

28 May 2005: Boyden Observatory, ASSA Bloemfontein Quarterly Meeting

The meeting started at 19h00. The theme of the meeting was “Astrophotography” in general, with Gerrit Penning and Shaun Twigge giving short presentations on the subject. Phillip Coetzer also showed us the interesting video of SpaceShipOne’s voyage to orbit. Members gathered in the clubhouse afterwards for general discussions.

6 August 2005: Boyden Observatory, ASSA Bloemfontein Annual General Meeting.
A successful meeting was held at Boyden at 19h00 where the new committee for 2005/2006 was chosen and the chairman’s report for 2004/2005 was read. Various topics of an astronomical nature were “thrown open” on the table and the coming few month’s format of activities were discussed. The committee chosen were as follows:
Chairman and webmaster: Gerrit Penning
Vice-chairman and treasurer: Phillip Coetzer
Secretary: Mia Zeelie
Pat van Heerden
Jacques van Delft

15 October 2005: Erlichpark Fire Station Museum - Quarterly meeting with Friends of Boyden reserved meeting
A presentation by Braam van Zyl on fire forensics were the central theme of the evening. Dr. Matie Hoffman also talked about his experiences while in China. The event was well-attended by members of ASSA Bloemfontein Centre as well as the Friends of Boyden. Membes had the opportunity to walk between the fire engines in the museum and other exhibitions. They also saw the remains of the great Lamont 27 inch refractor on display. Members enjoyed snacks after the main events.

5 November 2005: Boyden Open-evening and visit from Dr. Patrick Seitzer of the University of Michigan in the USA
A very interesting and successful open evening was held at Boyden where members of the club assisted. Dr. Seitzer was the speaker and presented a talk on space debris. Dr. Seitzer had a ful program during his stay in Bloemfontein. He was taken by members of the Centre and personnel of Boyden to e.g. Soetdoring Nature Reserve, Boyden Observatory, the campus of the UFS, De Oude Kraal Country Estate and was also taken on a flight over Bloemfontein and Boyden by Braam van Zyl.

3 December 2005: Year-end function at Boyden (ASSA BFN and Friends of Boyden)
About 15 members from both organisations came to the year-end
evening, which consisted only of "lekker gesels en kuier!"

Practical sessions and other activities during the year

12 February 2005: Boyden Observatory open-day, presented by ASSA Bloemfontein Centre
A successful public open-day was presented by the club at Boyden, in association with Boyden Observatory. About 80 people of the public attended.
The day started at 15h30 with the "Zoom Journey to the Stars" presentation, given by Gerrit Penning. Visitors thereafter went to the 20 cm Boyden solar telescope and looked at the sun. They also looked at the sun through telescopes on the platform set up by members of the club (Jacques van Delft, Hannes Pieterse and his son Pieter Pieterse). This was followed by various shorter presentations in the auditorium by club members, including Phillip Coetzer and Gerrit.
After an evening meal supplied to the visitors, an open-sky lecture was given on the roof of the auditorium and an Iridium Flare was observed to the joy of the onlookers. About 20h00, visitors rotated between the 60-, 13- and 10 inch telescopes manned by various amateur astronomers and Boyden personnel. Members also showed deep sky objects and planets through their telescopes on the platform. Pictures of the was taken by Hannes Pieterse.
A lot of planning went into the evening by Phillip, Gerrit and Juan-Marié Bower, but it definitely paid off.

26 February 2005: Boyden Observatory open-day, presented by ASSA Bloemfontein Centre
Due to the great demand of the previous open day on 12 February 2005, it was decided to repeat the day, with a scaled-down program. About 30 members of the public attended. The format was the same as 12 February's, although visitors brought their own picnic baskets this time. Both days saw clear open skies. The members should be commended for their undaunted spirit in assisting during open evenings, the help received was remarkable.

12 March 2005—Amateur astronomy workshop for ASSA Bloemfontein members
9 members of the club, mainly beginners, attended the day where an overview was given by Gerrit Penning on how to begin with amateur astronomy, more specifically with night sky observations. It was presented in the library of the main building at Boyden. During the evening some of the advanced members joined the group. Observations were done from the roof of the auditorium and constellations and deep sky objects through binoculars and telescopes of members were observed.

4 June 2005: Barkly-West, Northern Cape, Astronomy show for the WESSA nature group.
Phillip Coetzer, Gerrit Penning en Gideon Steyl presented an astronomy show and night sky observations to about 30 visitors belonging to a nature group and a Voortrekker team. A constellation show was given and informal observations through various member telescopes, including telescopes by a local astronomy-show presenter, were performed. It was a very successful evening and it was decided to give more astronomy shows in rural areas or outside Bloemfontein. After the show when the visitors left, Gerrit, Phillip, Gideon as well as Paul & Mary Fanner of Kimberley continued doing observations and taking astrophotos of the milky way and constellations.

8 June 2005: De Oude Kraal Country Estate - observation evening
Deep Sky members of the club had the wonderful opportunity to visit the idyllic De Oude Kraal, about 40 km south of Bloemfontein. The owners, Marie and Gerhard Lombard and the manager, Melanie Moolman were great hosts and even gave the members a light meal before moving out into the veld for observations through binoculars and member's telescopes. About 12 members attended. Gerrit first told the members a few interesting observational facts about selected constellations. The dark skies were exquisite.

1 July 2005: Boyden Observatory - Observation evening
About 10 members braved mid-winter cold at Boyden and held an observation evening on the Maselspoort platform at Boyden. The focus lied on winter constellations and deep sky objects.

3 September 2005: Boyden Observatory, tree-plant day and Clubhouse cleaning.
Members of the Friends of Boyden, ASSA Bloemfontein and Boyden Observatory staff participated in a tree-plant exercise in the afternoon and club members then proceeded to clean the clubhouse at Boyden, albeit in a social manner! Mia Zeelie also brought her completed 8 inch dobsonian telescope she recently completed. Photos of the event were taken by various members.

1 October 2005, Boyden Observatory - Observation evening
Members of the club came to a spring observation evening at Boyden on the Maselspoort platform. There were various member telescopes present.