Visit to Hartbeeshoek Radio Astronomy Observatory


Thought I would start a thread here because I can never tell if someone replies on the other thread.

Latest developments:

HARTRAO will give us a private visit on the 25th of June. I now need numbers so that I can give it through to them so that I can make final arrangements.

There is a limit of 35 people, so if you can please send me a message either through Facebook, or on email at [email protected]. At a stretch, post on the wall of the event.
Through necessity it will have to be first come, first serve.
I have a spreadsheet with everyone that has already confirmed and who said Maybe here:
I will keep it updated with those who have confirmed and numbers.

Please confirm with me as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. If you can’t make the 25th, the 4th of June is still open with the public visit.
The costs per adult is R45, and children R35.

Last thing, HARTRAO asked if there were any special requests on what they can do, apart from what they describe here: School and Group Visits to HartRAO. If there is please let me know.

I’m still keen, and willing to pay upfront! 4 places please.

Just a reminder that the HARTRAO visit is almost upon us. The idea is to meet 15:30 for 16:00 at HARTRAO. You can find directions and GPS co-ordinates here: How to get to HartRAO
If you want to make a day of it, and would like to add some natural history to your astronomy, Maropeng is quite close, 14km away, as well as the Sterkfontein Caves. More detail about Maropeng is here:

The spreadsheet which indicates the attendance and paid status is available here: . If I have missed your payment please let me know so that I can check, otherwise I can get your money on the day.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

See you on Saturday

THIS, was a really great outing. Thanks for arranging Mandarb, in spite of the biting cold, it was educational, fun and absolutely worth while driving into the bundus.

The sheer size of that dish impressed me no end, and the laser show was the highlight of the kid’s and the S/O’s evening. Seeing Saturn close up came tops for me, even though at that point of the evening I was frozen beyond description.

Could you post us some of the pics Mandarb, or perhaps mail them to me? It would be most appreciated.

The visit was way cool. Nice one guys.

The history of HartRAO is interesting.

I published it to facefuck, will publish to a different location today.

Lots more here

Was awesomeness. Thank you Mandarb. That dish is cool and I think many were surprised to find the dishes you see from the road is NOT the observatory, but in fact smaller installations, and the real fun lay behind them hills.

I still think it’s an extreme pity they couldn’t find the Jewelbox, I’m sure people would’ve been wowed by that way more than Saturn. Looks like this:

IIRC it doesn’t appear nearly as tiny (as saturn does) through a decent telescope.

I must say I was expecting more “cool stuff” to be happening in the control rooms with scientists walking about checking out cool things, maybe a demonstration of listening to a distant star and showing graphs, etc. Instead it was all automated by people on the other side of the world (also a cool fact!). I got a distinct feeling the event was more planned for kids, and worked very well for that I must say. Having some physicists in the crowd sure seemed to bowl the guide for a maiden, but made for cool facts being thrown around.

And ofc that FRIKKIN “LAZOR”!

A nice visit. This was the first time I went to a meeting and I expected that we would sort of introduce ourselves. That never happened so I am still trying to put faces to names. I was the short bald guy. (bald by choice, I shave). Mandrab I met but who were the others?


Great pics too! Thanks again!

I was the dude with the brownish/blondish long hair and the slightly dodgy ripped jacket (My usual jacket got an oil stain on it, promise).

Majin was ofc with me wearing a knitted red cap + glasses.

sheesh… we admired your hair… you’re one of those guys that can pull it off. Does anybody need to know which one I was???

I know who is who mostly, I’ve just no idea who Benguela is.

I was driving past Pelindaba on the way there, and I saw they had a visitor centre. I think that will be next.

Does anybody need to know which one I was?
I do.

Shorty who proclaimed that I am no lady… ;D

Had a blueish coat on with a brown scarf. Was with my S/O and two sons and the little indian girl (who was, unbeknownst to her, the only religious person amongst us) >:D

Thanks, like I’ve said before, I get mixed reviews. :wink:

It’s actually a pity I assumed that not everyone there was from this forum, at SITP I often get a “what forum?” instead of “I’m X”, so I’ve grown weary of asking the question. We have atheists/skeptics from all over that attend who are not from this forum. As such we didn’t even get in a chat. :confused: (I also assumed our guide/other guests may not be atheist and didn’t broach that one either)

I suspected Faerie might be there, and might be the shortish glasses lady with kids, but Tweefo, I had no clue, and was a veritable astronomical information mine. So glad you came, as our guide didn’t seem as prepared.

I think for the first time I’ve spent time with some atheist kids!

Hey guys, it was great to meet so many of the Gauteng-based skeptics on Saturday.
We had a great time, and Owen (the little guy) wants to know when he will see a black hole.

I think we should do these kinds of things more often, and we are in the process of arranging a partnership with the SciBono centre in Newtown.

Until next time,


I’d have made more effort as well if I knew that forum members were there.

I think for the first time I've spent time with some atheist kids!

Pretty much like other kids, just a tad more open-minded about “stuff” IMO!

I enjoyed the little bloke, he’s bound to be the bane of many a teacher’s life…

Who was the chap with the red beanie? We chatted a bit there, and for some odd reason I have a gut feel that we’ve met before?

That would be me and since you work at a bank and I’m teaching programmers who work at banks we probably walked past each other in the corridors.

Heh! Ja-right :stuck_out_tongue: