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Welcome to the home of the

West Rand Astronomy Club (WRAC)


Meetings / Events

28 January 2015 19h00: WRAC Monthly Meeting

Venue: Dutch Reformed Church, 844 Corlette Avenue, Witpoortje.

Presenter: Dave Blane

Topic: Observing the Southern Sky

Telescopes will be set up for viewing (weather permitting)

Cost: Donation of R10 for use of the venue which includes tea / coffee



17 January 2015: WRAC Star party: Weather Permitting.

Laurie Bentels Place.

171 Barlett Street, Honingklip. (Not far from the Silverstar Casino)

Co ordinates:     26 01 12 S….27 47 93 E

-26.018810  ,  27.798910

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.

14 to 16 August 2015: 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: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Web: www.mountain-sanctuary.co.za.

Other News



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).

Layers with carbonate content inside McLaughlin Crater

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:



10 – 12 May 2013

Feel free to ask questions or give comments. Visit our forum. Join our Facebook page (click on Like).

Since the dawn of time man has looked up at the sky in amazement and wondered what was out there. We now know much more than our ancestors, but the beauty of the heavens still mesmerise us today.

In keeping with this age old tradition we have established an Astronomy club ( WRAC) for enthusiasts and interested people alike to come and spend some time and indulge in this interest. Those who know teach and those who want to know learn and those that just want to gaze up feel free to do so.

The club does not charge for membership, nor do we make meetings mandatory however we do expect members to at least register on the web site and login from time to time so we can keep our database up to date with active members. We try and have a star party once a month to have some hands on exposure to the universe.

The WRAC (West Rand Astronomy Club) participates in community upliftment and public events to spread the beauty of the skies to those that are interested and do not have access to a telescope, thus encouraging people from all walks of life to look up and appreciate what we are privileged to see - the wonders of the universe.

So come one come all and feel welcome in the presence of likeminded individuals exploring the universe.