Welcome to the home of the
West Rand Astronomy Club (WRAC)
Meetings / Events
Bad weather expected this weekend in Senekal
44% chance of rain 70% humidity for Saturday
Go at own risk
Some members will still be going
10-12 May 2013: Astronomy weekend Rights Farm
Johan Brink has once again invited the WRAC (and friends) to A WEEK END OF DARK SKY STAR
GAZING AT his beautiful farm near to Senekal in the Free State
BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL
Contact: Kenny Nevill, Email:
Jess van Elferen, Email:
11 May 2013 WRAC Star party: Clint's place (weather permitting)
For the people that don't go to Rights Farm
Cost: Donation of R10 for use of the venue which includes firewood for the braai.
29 May 2013 19h00: WRAC Monthly Meeting
Venue: Dutch Reformed Church, 844 Corlette Avenue, Witpoortje.
Presenter: Robert De Mello Koch
Topic: Gravity & String theory
Telescopes will be set up for viewing (weather permitting)
Cost: Donation of R10 for use of the venue which includes tea / coffee
2 to 4 August 2013: WRAC Annual Star Party at Mountain Sanctuary Park, Magaliesberg
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: