The 2018 Spring Southern Star Party, StarPeople’s 15th event, was held at Leeuwenboschfontein on the far western edge of the Little Karoo from 05 to 10 September (see the first announcement).
The event was held early in the Southern Hemisphere’s Spring in an area that is normally dry. However, it was neither dry nor typical Spring weather but very cold and wet with snow on the higher peaks. Just check out all the jackets, caps and scarves in the group photograph! Despite the inclement weather, there were periods when the sky cleared and then the viewing was very good. On the evenings of the 9th and the 10th, when it cleared completely, the viewing was fantastic.
The presentations by Prof Herman Steyn (A Historical Overview of the University of Stellenbosch’s Satellite Projects over the past 25 years) and Dr Daniel Cunnama (Simulations of galaxies and galaxy clusters) were very good and enjoyed by all. The short talks on Saturday afternoon by Rob Bark, Chris Forder, Wim Filmalter and Kechil Kirkham gave the audience a closer look at the different things that make amateur astronomers tick and specifically those that interested these four speakers.
The 15th SSP was a special one for John Richards as he became the 10th recipient of the coveted Star Party Veteran’s badge. Congratulations John!
Wim’s telescope exhibition, which drew lots of attention, showcased the ingenuity and workmanship of a few amateur telescope builders.
The people who attended this SSP were, as always, a fantastic crowd and the general atmosphere was warm despite the cold.
From the Organizing Committee a heartfelt word of thanks to each and everyone that attended and made another memorable SSP possible. If you missed this one please make a note of the date for the Autumn SSP (03rd to the 08th of April 2019) at the same venue and make sure you join us. If you were at this event, we hope to see you at the next one too.
Thanks as well to Leeuwenboschfontein and our hosts Pieter and Hermien.