2003 - ASSA Bloemfontein Centre

February 8, 2003, Boyden Observatory, 19:00
First meeting for 2003. The practical activities in the Centre was discussed by some of the group co-ordinators, followed by tea and coffee.
March 21 2003, Boyden Observatory, 14:00
Workshop on comets, meteors and occultations. The Centre was privileged to have a visit from Tim Cooper (ASSA PTA) and Brian Fraser (ASSA JHB), which came to Boyden to initiate the A.W. Roberts Archives project (processing of variable star research by Roberts done in previous century). Tim (ASSA Comet and Meteor Section director) presented a workshop on Comets and Meteors. In many respects, this event was seen as the starting point of our Centre's Comet and Meteor efforts. A talk on occultations was given by Brian (ASSA Occultations Section director). In the evening, Boyden Observatory hosted an open evening to the public, where members of the club also assisted with telescope observations.

May 24, 2003, Boyden Observatory, 19:00
Quarterly Meeting. : "Video techniques in astrophotography". Saar Ben-Attar presented to the members a lecture on how to use digital video equipment like webcams and video cameras when doing astrophotography. He also displayed the wonders of image "stacking" and image integration to increase the quality of your captured images.

August 30, 2003, Boyden Observatory, 19:00
Annual General Meeting.
A bring-and-braai was held at 16:30. The evening, Jeanine Nel presented a lecture on Greek Mythology and handed out exercises to test our knowledge! It was followed by a talk by Annegret Lombard of the Geology Department of the UFS on possible meteorite excursions into the field and how to identify meteorites when found.
The new committee for 2003/2004 was chosen and consisted of the following members:
Chairman: Gerrit Penning
Vice-chairman: Juan-Marie Bower
Treasurer: Braam van Zyl
Secretary: Jeanine Nel (replaced by Mia Zeelie end of 2003 when Jeanine moved to Newcastle)
Additional Members: Dawie van Jaarsveldt (History and clubhouse), Alfred Jenkinson, Warren Akerman.
Council Rep: Chris de Coning (Cape Town)

November 15, 2003, Boyden Observatory, 19:00
Quarterly meeting. A presentation regarding the Moon was given by Mia Zeelie.

November 29, 2003, Boyden Observatory, 19:00
Year end function for ASSA Bloemfontein Centre.

March 29 and April 5, 2003, Boyden Observatory, 15:00
On March 29, Hannes Calitz presented to the members a workshop in starchart coordinate systems, and other astronomical terms used in night sky navigation. It was repeated on April 5 when Gerrit Penning presented the event. Both days were well attended by members of the club. A document was also compiled setting out the terms and activities. From 18:30 informal observations through the 13 inch telescope took place.

April 23, 2003, City of Bloemfontein and surroundings, evening
Members participated for the first time in many years in the count of a meteor shower (Pi Puppids), early evening.
May 1, 2003, Boyden Observatory, afternoon
The Solar group, led by Braam van Zyl, received a practical info session and workshop at Boyden and at the 20 cm solar telescope, on solar observation techniques.

May 7, 2003, Boyden Observatory, 7:00 - 12:30
The Mercury transit was observed through the 20 cm solar telescope at Boyden Observatory. Photos and videos were taken. Jacques van Delft took pictures from Welbedachtdam (FS), which was also placed on the website.
May 16, 2003, Boyden Observatory and City of Bloemfontein, 4:00-6:00
Informal observations of the total lunar eclipse.

May 22, 2003, Observatory Theatre, Bloemfontein, 19:00
A talk was presented by Gerrit Penning on behalf of the Centre's History Group, on the history and story behind the Lamont-Hussey Observatory on Naval Hill. The event was opened by Dawie van Jaarsveldt and attended by about 20 persons, mainly amateurs astronomers and Friends of Boyden.

June 5 and 6, 2003, Boyden Observatory, 18:30 - Observation evening of winter deep sky objects and constellations.

June 21-22, 2003, Welbedachtdam, Free State - 7 members went along for an overnight at the Welbedacthdam where member Jacques van Delft works and also took the members on a guided tour of the surrounding area, the dam and the water plant.

July 24 and 26, 2003, Boyden Observatory, 18:30 - Observation evening - winter deep sky and constellations

August 23, 2003, Observatory Theatre (17:00) and Boyden Observatory (19:00) - "Stars and Planets" day with the focus on Mars. The event was organized by the Centre in association with Boyden Observatory. The first group of visitors received a presentation on Mars in the Observatory Theatre in the afternoon by Louis Barendse of RSG. They went per bus to Boyden Observatory, where a second group attended the presentation. Observation and info points on Boyden was manned by the amateurs. 180 of the public attended!

August 26, 2003, Sand du Plessis High School, BFN, 18:00 - With the focus on the near approach of planet Mars, the public was given a presentation by Gerrit Penning about Mars and afterwards, Thinus, Warren and Alfred presented deep sky observations on the rugby field through Alfred's 10 inch and Boyden's mobile 8 inch.

August 27, 2003, Boyden Observatory, 18:00. Mars Close Approach - Attended by amateur astronomers, Friends of Boyden and a small amount of the public, Mars was observed through the 13 inch refractor at Boyden.

September 13, 2003, Fire Station Museum, Bloemfontein, 19:00 - The Centre's history group, in association with the Friends of Boyden (it was a reserved meeting for the Friends), presented a talk on the 75th year of commemoration of the Lamont-Hussey Observatory on Naval Hill, Bloemfontein, since it was opened. The lecture was began by a tribute message from Dr. Patrick Seitzer of the University of Michigan. The large 27 inch telescope components and various information pieces were on display, as well as the Fire Station Museum vehicles and pieces, organized by Braam van Zyl. Gerrit Penning presented the talk on the Observatory, followed by a talk by Dr. Lyzette Hoffman about the life and works of Henrietta Leavitt. Braam then showed the audience two fascinating films made as marketing tools for the City of Bloemfontein in the 1950's-60's.

September 19, 2003, Boyden Observatory, afternoon - Astrophotography group - all historical photographic plate collection at Boyden identified.

September 23, 2003, Langenhovenpark, Bloemfontein, 18:00 - Spring constellations and planet observations on the eastern hill, hosted by Jean and Mia Zeelie.