SANSA Space Science News

ScopeX 2012

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ScopeXSANSA Space Science joined the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa (ASSA) at the annual Telescope and Astronomy Expo, ScopeX on the 21 July 2012. The exhibition was held at the Military History Museum in Johannesburg, and was well attended by students from schools all over Gauteng, members of the public and budding astronomers.

Various exhibitors showed of their self-made telescopes, sundials and astro-photos, and a few demonstrated how to make your own telescope mirror.

Kobus Olckers, Space Weather Officer from SANSA Space Science gave a presentation to a full house on solar maxima and was later inundated with questions pertaining to the subject.

A number of students visited the SANSA stand and were very excited to hear all about how SANSA monitors the Earth’s magnetic field, space weather and how satellite imagery of the Earth enables us to monitor and mitigate natural disasters.

The exhibition concluded with a star gazing party where those attending could view the night’s sky through various telescopes

Space Science Goes Underground

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underground The SANSA Space Science Technology group visited Laboratoire Souterrain à Bas Bruit, an underground scientific laboratory in France. The team conducted magnetic surveys of the tunnel structure where a SQUID (superconducting quantum interference device) magnetometer is located.  The SANSA team interacted extensively with French researchers operating the SQUID and gained valuable experience with regards to the analysis of SQUID data.  SANSA Space Science recently completed the construction of a non-magnetic hut that will house a SQUID magnetometer. The visit to the French laboratory will assist the Space Science Technology group to operate the new SQUID magnetometer when it is installed later this year.

SANSA Signs MoU With University of Zambia

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MOU Dr Lee-Anne McKinnell, MD of SANSA Space Science, travelled to Lusaka in Zambia for the official signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between SANSA and the University of Zambia.  SANSA will be collaborating on a number of space science related projects with the University of Zambia under the South African - Zambian bilateral agreement on Science and Technology.  During her visit Dr McKinnell also met with the Ministry of Science and Technology in Zambia and gave a general overview presentation on SANSA.   Prof Robert van Zyl, Satellite Programme Director at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and Dr McKinnell engaged with students of SANJE High School in a fun satellite building activity.  Dr McKinnell educated the students on space science and explained the role of satellites in everyday life. The students who had little knowledge about space science and related technologies said that this experience has sparked a desire to learn more about this exciting field.

Action Packed Winter School

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Winter School 2012This year 18 undergraduate students representing 9 South African universities took part in the 2012 Winter School Programme at SANSA Space Science.  The well organised 5 day programme entailed a number of lectures and practical activities providing the students with an introduction into space science.

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