Chris de Coning was born and raised in Johannesburg. After earning an honours degree in History at Rand Afrikaans University (RAU) he lectured in History at Vista University in Bloemfontein.
“While in Bloemfontein I became interested in astronomy, helped resuscitate the local astronomy club, became a member of the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa (ASSA) – and met my future wife!”
After moving to Cape Town and joining the Cape Centre of ASSA, Chris was invited to become the Director of the ASSA Historical Section. In 2005 he was co-organizer of the African Astronomical History Symposium, the first such symposium about astronomical history in Africa. He was a founding member of the Friends of the Cape Town Observatory (FoTO) and is part-owner of Over the Moon Tours, a company specializing in astronomy tourism.
Chris is the ASSA Archivist, Director of the ASSA Historical Section, and an Incorporating Member of the Centre’s Board of Directors.
Edward Foster hails from Pretoria and grew up in Matatiele.
His professional career started in the AE&CI laboratory, took him to Stellenbosch Farmers’ Winery as a wine chemist, and finally as a lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch (Departments of Zoology, Botany and Biochemistry). He lectured at the Tourist Guide Institute on the Geography, Geology and Geomorphology of the Western Cape for several years, and is both a Tour Guide (Reg.no. WC0752) and a Nature Guide (Level One).
“I’ve been doing public astronomy outreach since 2008 and have presented several National Science Week events and countless events with StarPeople.”
Edward is co-creator of the Southern Star Party, a member of the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa, and an Incorporating Member of the Centre’s Board of Directors.
Auke Slotegraaf was born and raised in Stellenbosch and is a psychohistorian and stargazing enthusiast with a deep interest in South Africa’s astronomical roots, both culturally and scientifically.
“I’m an honorary member of the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa (ASSA), a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society (FRAS), and the founding editor of the annual Sky Guide, the astronomical handbook for Southern Africa. I’m also a member of the Cape Magician’s Circle but haven’t figured out how to make clouds disappear yet.”
When it rains, he builds worlds for an on-going Dungeons & Dragons campaign.
Auke has received several awards for public astronomy outreach, is co-creator of the Southern Star Party, is an Incorporating Member of the Centre’s Board of Directors, and is presently the Chair of the Board.
Dirk Rossouw and Johan Brink, both Incorporating Member for the Centre, resigned during 2023. New directors will be appointed during 2024.