Welcome to the home of the
West Rand Astronomy Club (WRAC)
Meetings / Events
27 November 2013 19h00: WRAC Monthly Meeting
Venue: Dutch Reformed Church, 844 Corlette Avenue, Witpoortje.
Topic: AGM (very short) and social get to gather for year end.
Telescopes will be set up for viewing (weather permitting)
Cost: Donation of R10 for use of the venue which includes tea / coffee
4 January 2014 WRAC Star party:
Laurie Bentels Farm (weather permitting)
171 Barlett Street, Honingklip. (Not far from the Silverstar Casino)
Co ordinates: 26 01 12 S….27 47 93 E
New members welcome. Bring own meat and salads, drinks ( please limit the alcohol), cutlery, crockery and a chair.
If weather looks suspect please check WRAC website from 3:15pm on the Saturday to confirm if stargazing is still on.
If you want to Braai Bring your own Braai and firewood.
22 to 24 August 2014: WRAC Annual Star Party at Mountain Sanctuary Park,
Accommodation available: Camping, chalets and log cabins.
To book contact either Stacy or Elizabeth on 014 534 0114, email:
Water on Mars
Layers with Carbonate Content Inside McLaughlin Crater on Mars
This view of layered rocks on the floor of McLaughlin Crater shows sedimentary rocks that contain spectroscopic evidence
for minerals formed through interaction with water. The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter recorded the image.
A combination of clues suggests this 1.4-mile-deep (2.2-kilometer-deep) crater once held a lake fed by groundwater.
Part of the evidence is identification of clay and carbonate minerals within layers visible near the center of this image.
The mineral identifications come from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM), also on
the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
The scene covers an area about one-third of a mile (about 550 meters) across, at 337.6 degrees east longitude, 21.9
degrees north latitude. North is up. Figure 1 indicates the location of layers bearing clay and carbonate minerals and
includes a scale bar of 100 meters (328 feet).
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona
Information on the ScopeX student challenge
Club's Monthly Newsletter
The club's program for 2013-14 is now available for download: