Moon Category Winner

I remember how we looked forward to the big celebrations that were being planned for October 2020. How could we ever have imagined that our lives were about to change drastically and due to something as strange as a virus. Organisers bounced back after total lock down and proceeded with preparations for an incredible online event.

To keep me motivated and inspired during a time of isolation, I spent many evenings taking images of the Moon. When the SAAO launched the astrophotography competition, I had many Moon images to choose from.

In this shot the Moon seemed to be floating above the clouds,  in contrast with the heaviness of heart that I oftened experienced during this period. Entering the competition was more about being part of the special celebrations and making a positive contribution. I parted with my Moon and enjoyed the celebrations to the full.

I read the email over and over, just to be sure. Confirmation came when I saw the following post by the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) on social media:

The year 2020 was a big milestone for the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO), marking 200 years of its existence as an astronomical observatory.This landmark allows us to commemorate not only our scientific accomplishments, but also to celebrate our country’s rich cultural heritage as a whole.Since this is a celebration, the SAAO held an Astrophotography Competition in partnership with Scifest Africa. The winning images will be exhibited at the SAAO Visitor Center, which is currently under construction in Cape Town.

Congratulations to our winner Carol Botha for the astonishing work submitted for the Astrophotography Competition 2020 under the Moon category.
Goodness me – I was a winner!…/saao-200-astrophotography…/

Moon and Mars conjunction Oct 2020

Moon and MarsEither we stay on Earth and go extinct, or we become a multi-planetary species
– Quantum Biology Researcher, Adriana Marais-

I’m glad I am of an age where I don’t have to consider the question: Would I go to Mars?

I think I have become too attached to Earth but there’s nothing preventing me from sharing in the excitement when spacecraft are launched to Mars.

Until the time is right, I think I’d prefer if robots were sent instead of humans.

But we have to dream big….


This image of the Moon and Mars conjunction was taken from my window on Oct 3, 2020