My Two Weeks (April 24 – May 6, 2014) Visit to University of Cape Town and South African Observatory (SAAO) by Dr. Romanus Eze, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
I first visited Bloemfontein, where I presented a paper titled “Suzaku Observations of Fe_Kalpha line in some Hard X-ray Emitting Symbiotic Stars (hSSs) and Magnetic Cataclysmic Variables (mCVs)” in a High Energy Astrophysics in Southern Africa 2014 meeting which was held at the UFS-Boyden Observatory, Bloemfontein, South Africa from April 24 – 25, 2014. In the meeting I meet with many high Energy astronomers from South Africa and we had some useful research oriented discussions.
On Tuesday April 29, I was at SAAO where I meet with a good number of Astronomers from the SAAO. I also presented a paper titled “Development of Astronomy in Nigeria and West Africa” to a joint session of astronomers from SAAO and University of Cape Town. On Friday may 2. 2014, I re-presented my paper on “Suzaku Observations of Fe_Kalpha line in some hard X-ray Emitting Symbiotic Stars and magnetic cataclysmic variables” to high Energy Astronomy group at the SAAO. I established a new collaboration link with Stephen Potter who is working on optical observations of some mCVs.
I had some useful discussions with Vanessa McBride and Tana Joseph on future research collaboration, which includes possible admission of some my students from Nigeria in the National Astrophysics and Space Science Program (NASSP). We also agreed that both Vanessa McBride and Tana Joseph could visit Nigeria especially during our annual summer school organized for our young astronomers. They may serve as resource persons. If fund becomes available I may visit University of Cape Town for a longer period to engage in more active and interactive research collaboration.
Vanessa, Tana and I visited the SKA office in Cape Town, where we discussed with Venkatasubramani L. Thondikulam (venKAT), the project manager and Project Engineer- African VLBI Network, subsystem Manager KAT-7 & and meerKAT, member, STaN and SaT Consortium, PEP-SKA. He extensively explained all about the African VLBI network and member partners, the training of some young astronomers from Ghana so that they will be equipped for the operation of their refurbished communication Telescope for the African VLBI and the baby telescope. When I asked why Nigeria was not involved, he could not give a specific answer. I informed him that Nigeria has about two or more communication Telescope, which we plan refurbish so that we can join African VLBI.
Finally I delivered a colloquium titled “Suzaku Observations of Fe_Kalpha line in some Hard X-ray Emitting Symbiotic Stars (hSSs) and Magnetic Cataclysmic Variables (mCVs)” to members of the Department of Astronomy, University of Cape Town on Monday May 5, 14 just before my departure on Tuesday May 6, 14
Acknowledgement: I wish to acknowledge Vanessa McBride and Tana Joseph for inviting and hosting me, the office of IAU OAD for sponsoring my international flight and accommodation at the Jakaranda house (SAAO) in Cape Town and the University of Cape Town for sponsoring my accommodation and local transport at Bloemfontein. No thanks to University of Nigeria, Nsukka for not paying my per dim and stressing on the letter for my permission to undertake this visit dated May 5, 2014, that the Vice Chancellor approved my visit but it is at NO COST TO THE UNIVERSITY. This implied that my local runs at Nigeria for my visa, my local flight tickets and my per dim, all worth over three hundred and sixty thousand (360,000) Nigerian naira or a little above USD 2,000 was taken out of my pocket. Nigerian government/University of Nigeria, Nsukka please rise up to your responsibilities.
This post was submitted by a visitor to the OAD, Dr. Romanus Eze from the Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Views expressed in OAD guest blogs may not necessarily represent the views of the OAD.