Living Amongst the Stars to be reprinted
by Dirk J Vermeulen
Published 2007 by Chris van Rensburg Publications (Pty) Ltd, PO Box 29159, Melville 2109
Hard Cover, pp x + 134, 140 figures.
ISBN 0 86846 107 5
From humble meteorological station to world-renowned astronomical observatory, Dirk Vermeulen, vice-chairman of the Historical Section of the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE), has traced the fascinating evolution of the Johannesburg Observatory from the early 1900s to its current ambitious goal of becoming a dynamic science and education centre.
'Living amongst the Stars' is a beautifully crafted work which captures the unpredictable times and unorthodox people who played such a vital role in establishing South Africa among the leaders in the world of astronomy.
Leopards, snakes, stray donkeys, wild cats, swarms of locusts, earth tremors and huge clouds of choking mine dust – but a few of the normal hazards facing staff at the Johannesburg Observatory in the early 1900s. It was situated 'so far into the country' that visiting astronomers couldn't find cab-drivers willing to take them there after sunset!
From: MNASSA, 2007 August, Vol. 66, 7&8, pp.161-162
Book Review, by Dr Ian Glass
"Dirk Vermeulen has traced the descendants of many of those who worked at the Union Observatory and has sketched the lives and achievements of each of the main characters (that of Innes himself is particularly interesting). There are several useful appendices, such as a list of the Minor Planets found. The book is copiously illustrated with historical photographs, gathered from official archives and personal collections. It is a highly valuable contribution to the history of astronomy – indeed of scientific achievement – in South Africa in the twentieth century."
nothing more to see. please move along.