Annual Report of the ASSA Deep Sky Observing Section (2008)
It is a pleasure to thank the following individuals for their contributions to the section in the year under review: Magda Streicher, Carol Botha, Richard Ford, and Gary Lillis.
Magda continues to be a stalwart of the Section, and her strong, independent work is admirable. Long may she continue to plumb the depths of the deep sky!
Carol, Richard and Gary are relatively new observers and the quality of their work is such that they received Merit Awards for their contributions.
More than 378 copies of the Section's observing tutorial (Deepsky Observer's Companion) have been downloaded from the Director's website (with an unknown number downloaded from the ASSA website).
The Observing Checklist was revised and formed the basis of a successful deep sky workshop presented by the director at ScopeX in Johannesburg. Following the workshop, Magda presented a well-received video-illustrated talk on sketching techniques.
Work continued throughout the year to digitize old deep sky publications for inclusion in the section's online database. Most of the work consisted of making digital images of pre-photographic era sketches of deep sky objects, manipulating the images and annotating them. Forty-three such publications were digitized at high resolution.
Several hundred photographic negatives, taken with the Radcliffe telescope from 1948 to 1950, were also digitized and referenced.
In the year ahead, it's hoped that all available historical sketches will be digitized, and that the collection of old, rare deep sky related books will be electronically captured. This material can then be incorporated into the database and made freely available for reference. Members interested in helping with this archiving task should contact the director, who will be more than keen to make use of their kind offer.
nothing more to see. please move along.