Limpopo Astronomy Public Outreach (LAPO)

Limpopo Astronomy Public Outreach will visit 13 venues in various towns in Limpopo Province over the course of a five month period (see point 9 for venues). An astronomy display during the course of the day and part of the evening consisting of the following will be setup. “Fossils, Light & Time”, a visual display of cosmic and fossil history going back 2.1 billion years with a South African flavour.Consisting of 26 laminated A4 pages, portraying the impact of the Vredefort meteorite and ending present day with fossil history from the floods in Laingsburg.A selection of posters sourced from SAAO and SAASTA depicting the following:Our solar system, the electromagnetic spectrum, your place in the universe.These will be on display and also handed out.Various other astronomy related posters and material will also be on display.Please note that these posters have not been budgeted into this proposal as they are usually donated by the two organizations. Practical:Viewing the Sun and observing sunspots with a telescope and sun-filter.Will include handout material with facts and figures on the Sun on one side of A4 page.The reverse side will have information on the Moon. Solar system, facts and figures will include handout material as well as practical display of the size and distance to the planets.Information on viewable planets at the time will be included on the reverse side of the page. Stargazing evenings will include South African star-lore and the identification of some of the constellations that are visible as well as views through the telescope of some of the planets, stars and deepsky objects.Explanations of how stars and planets “move”, the difference between them etc., will be discussed. A video camera attached to the telescope instead of the eyepiece will project onto a screen, real time images of what the telescope is pointing at.This is the perfect tool for astronomy outreach as large groups can be targeted.As an example, real time views of the Moon, Saturn, a double star or star-forming region in the sky is projected, with an explanation of what we are looking such as:Explanation of how and when the Moon was formed, why we see different phases, composition of Saturn’s rings and the structure, show its moons including the largest one Titan, etc. etc.Open & Globular clusters:An explanation of these types of stellar groupings.Nebulae:An explanation of the various nebulae and much more.Short clips consisting of some current material such as the launching and landing of NASA’s Curiosity on Mars, as well as material on the Space Shuttle and ISS and Apollo footage.


South Africa