ScopeX 2014 final report
by Lerika Cross
It didn’t rain, which was nice.
There were six talks during the day. Prof Steyn, Francois Kapp & Chris Forder - our invited guests from Cape Town - gave up their weekend to support the event, for which we are grateful. The talk recorded are available on the website under Gallery > Videos
ATM Judges: Chris Stewart, Dave Blane, Chris Forder
Their report is on the website under Previous Events>2014> ATM Report
Forty-two items were formally entered and six people received awards:
Peter Rendall:Polar Disc Mount and Wooden Tubes
Carmel Ives: A-frame Polar Disc Mount
Johan Smit: Curved Bolt Drive, Binocular Collimator, Infinity Finder
Michael Moller:Steampunk Schiefspiegler
Eric Slaghuis: Minimalist Dobsonian Mount
Dave Hughes:Texereau-style Telescope and Mount
Michael Moller said of his endeavour “Now while I'm fairly practically minded, I always consult my wife Robynn when it comes to things aesthetic. After discussing the technical aspects with her, we came up with a sketch of a light, femininely curved, open-cradle assembly which Robynn liked and I thought I could construct”.
Chris Forder from Cape Town was one of the ATM judges and said: "The telescope making was fascinating, with a some world firsts both in concept and in design. It is also pleasing to see the telescopes were made from the optics through to the mechanical components, using many ordinary and household components in construction. In short, great folks, great scopes and great hopes for the future of ScopeX".
AstroPhoto Judges: Allen Versfeld assisted by Chris Forder
Thirty-four photos entered, of which three received awards:
Johan Smit: Asteroid Patentia occultation
Paul Smit: Eta Carina region
Johan Moolman: Saturated Moon
Johan Smit said of his endeavour "The final image, Patientia, did not come easily. The star that was occulted is very faint". His write up is found at Gallery>Astrophoto Dairies>Asteroid Patentia occultation.
Paul and Johan Moolman's photos are at Gallery>Astrophotograohy
Nineteen students brought and exhibited their science projects. Many thanks go to Amanda Calitz (educator at the Nooitgedacht Primary School) who brought 14 scholars from her school.
Donated by G&L Agencies:
Celestron Sky Prodigy won by Peter van den Meer
Celestron Sky Master 20x80 won by Kamal Cassiram
Donated by Kameraz:
Canon 1200D DSLT + lens won by Daryl Garner-Savory
Donated by iOptron
iOptron R80 telescope won by Andreas Dinkelacker
The real winners - who deserve a very big thank you - are
Department of Science and Technology and SAASTA/Business Unit of the NRF for providing support funding, without which ScopeX would not be able to provide the Student Programme and host guest speakers from outside Gauteng;
the commercial companies who donated prices to give away – many thanks for adding spice and excitement to the day. All the detail is listed on the website;
Experilab for running 5 Science Shows during the day;
those who brought their exhibit/s - albeit a telescope or astrophoto or school project;
Unika Voortrekkers whose youngsters again provided excellent support of the ScopeX activities and excellent fare at the Food Tent;
everyone who helped with the activities on the day – at the amateur and commercial stands, the help desk, camera obscura and sun dial corners.
Special thanks to Sci-Bono for running the workshops (Zibusiso Nyoni ran 4 session, ~ 120 13 to 17yr olds attended), the digital planetarium (Sibongile Twala and Ndzalama Mavasa ran 19 sessions attended by ~ 450) and judging the school science projects (Michael Ellis and Akash Dusrath).
And a special thanks to SAAO /EUNAWE for offering Buzani Khumalo to run four Solar System workshops which were attended by 80 6 to 10 year olds – all the supplies brought by Buzani were exhausted. These activities expanded the scope of what visitors could enjoy on the day.
Members of the ATM class built and handed over to Sci-Bono a Dobson style solar telescope. Special thanks to Dave Hughes for grinding the 6" mirror and building most of the scope, and to Rodney Hyman for donating the plaque and providing aluminising services. Hugh Scholtz also contributed woodworking expertise. Chris Stewart handled design and technical aspects, and participated in the construction.