'If you consider there are between 10 and 20 times as many galaxies outside ours as there are stars in our galaxy - and we have maybe 200 billion stars, so multiply that between 10 and 20 and that is the number of galaxies, and each of those may have 200 billion starts. So we are pretty insignificant. If you go and look at a piece of sand outside. That is how insignificant we are. We think we are important but we are not.' - Chris Forder. Amateur Telescope builder.Read More
'To whom shall I dedicate this book? It is about a being who is not human, who is higher than man - an unattainable superior.
I think I will go to the opposite - and then I will not have to look very far. I lost a friend a long time ago - a friend that I loved and who loved me. I will never see him again forever; but forever I will never forget him. Now, after all these years, there is not a day that passes without his image coming before me and I'm grieving about him. To him I was the higher being - a Loeloeraai of a higher existence. To me he was the ultimate perfection I found on earth, of love and faithfulness and virtue. And I lost him, and I miss him dearly. . .
I dedicate this work:
To the memory of
MY FRIEND AND DOG, JAKHALS’
From the dedication of Loeloeraai, CJ Langenhoven, 4th Edition 1929, First published 1923. Translated from original Afrikaans by Nic Grobler.
Photograph inspired by Loeloeraai, CJ Langenhoven. Loeloeraai is a visitor from Venus, who spends about two weeks with a family in Oudtshoorn. They end up going on a small trip to the moon before Loeloeraai returns to Venus.Read More
'Then you look at Saturn with the nice rings around it, it looks like a sombrero - that is just unbelievable. On the real astronomy side I’ve observed stars with are called roAp stars, it is short for Rapidly oscillating peculiar A stars. These are really peculiar. Those stars oscillate in a short time scale, like 8 minutes. What happens is the stars sort of blows up and gets bigger and fainter, then contracts and gets warmer. That is what you see. My first three years I was working with other people, as I was undergoing training. From there on most of the time I was on my own. Sometimes for 14 hours in winter, just with a CD player, my night lunch and my coffee. Then it is up to you to make all the decisions. You just got to make sure you stay awake and alert. Otherwise you can screw up big time. I did fall asleep, but the thing is, if you feel you are tired it is best to close the dome, switch everything off and sit and sleep. If you leave things on and you fall asleep then you are in trouble.’ - Francois van Wyk, Night Assistant and service observer, Sutherland.Read More