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History of Astronomy in South Africa: The Late Modern Period

A Focus Meeting to be held at the XXXII IAU General Assembly in Cape Town, South Africa, on August 7-8, 2024

Below is an overview of the draft programme as it stands, but which is still subject to change.

On August 7 and 8 there is one morning session, followed by two afternoon sessions.

Sessions are numbered FM6-1 to FM6-3 (August 7) and FM6-4 to FM6-6 (August 8).



Session Time slot   Speaker   Title
FM6-1 Cape Observatory Astrophotography Chair: Piet van der Kruit  
FM6-1 10:30-10:40   Piet van der Kruit   Introduction
FM6-1 10:40-11:10   John Hearnshaw   The fascinating story of the Cape Photographic Durchmusterung involving the different personalities of David Gill and Jacobus Kapteyn 
FM6-1 11:10-11:40   Ileana Chinnici   The crucial role played by the Cape Observatory in the Carte du Ciel project 
FM6-1 11:40-12:00   Zheng-Hong Tang, Yong Yu,
Mei-Ting Yang, Liang-Liang Wang & Jing Yang
  Shanghai Sheshan Observatory’s contribution to the Carte du Ciel project
  12:00-13:30   Lunch    
FM6-2 Photographic Monitoring in South Africa Chair: Ileana Chinnici
FM6-2 13:30-14:00   Ian Glass   The South African Observatories and technological change
FM6-2 14:00-14:30   Sara Schechner   Harvard's Boyden Station in Bloemfontein
FM6-2 14:30-15:00   Christiaan Sterken & Arnout van Genderen   The Leiden plate collection: the logbooks as a treasure trove of information on service observing by local staff 
  15:00-15:30       Coffee break
FM6-3 The Royal Observatory at the Cape Chair: Ian Glass
FM6-3 15:30-16:00   Virginia Trimble   Expanding the Universe from South and Southern Africa
FM6-3 16:00-16:30   David Laney   From Thomas Henderson's dismal swamp to SAAO
FM6-3 16:30-17:00   Nikolai Samus, Alina Eremeeva   The Herschel Family and Astronomy in South Africa
FM6-4 Geodetic Surveys and Astronomy in South Africa Chair: Virginia Trimble
FM6-4 10:30-11:00   Christiaan Sterken   Hardships of the Geodetic Survey of South Africa: from Lacaille to Maclear
FM6-4 11:00-11:30   Mulemwa Akombelwa, Koos Landman & Angus Forbes   The contribution of the early surveyors to professional and technical surveying education in South Africa
FM6-4 11:30-12:00   Auke Slotegraaf   Rescue Archiving: Lessons learnt at Boyden Observatory and elsewhere in South Africa
  12:00-13:30   Lunch    
FM6-5 Scientists and their Impact on South African Society & Native Peoples Chair: Sara Schechner
FM6-5 13:30-14:00   Jane Carruthers   The Toppieshoek Restoration  Project (remote presentation)
FM6-5 14:00-14:20   Hong-Jin Yang, Hyojun Lee & Hyung Mok Lee   Uncovering hidden logbooks of cometary observations: the case of comets Halley and Donati
FM6-5 14:20-14:40   Keith Snedegar   The challenging legacy of A.W. Roberts, South African variable star observer
FM6-5 14:40-15:00   Michael Backes   History of Astronomy in Namibia
  15:00-15:30       Coffee break
FM6-6 Miscellaneous Aspects of Astronomy in South Africa Chair: John Hearnshaw
FM6-6 15:30-15:50   Isabelle Lémonon & Colette Le Lay   Female computers and the Carte du Ciel project (remote presentation)
FM6-6 15:50-16:10   Dawid Van Jaarsveldt   A quest to preserve Bloemfontein’s astronomical heritage: the development of the Boyden Observatory Museum
FM6-6 16:10-16:30   Ian Tasker   Economic considerations direct Robert Innes's collaboration during World War I, using Sydney data for blinking proper motions, supplied by Ernest Cooke
FM6-6 16:30-16:50   Ian Glass, Jennifer Whittal & Christiaan Sterken   Commentaries on tangible and intangible cultural Heritage at the Cape
FM6-6 16:50-17:00   John Hearnshaw   Closure of the Meeting