We recently hosted Professor Michael Bode and his family at River Bend Lodge. Professor Bode is the Director of the Astrophysics Research Institute at Liverpool John Moore’s University, which is considered to be one of the world’s leading authorities in astronomy and astrophysics. Professor Bode is also a past Vice President of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Some of us were fortunate enough to have some time with Michael, after dark, gazing at the heavens while he gave us a short talk on what we were looking at. Michael specializes in ‘exploding stars’ and we wish to thank him for giving us of his time and a very interesting talk!! This is what he had to say of his time spent at River Bend Lodge.
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“We’d never been on safari before and didn’t quite know what to
expect. Our 4 days and nights at River Bend were however some of the most
memorable we’ve had as a family. Each day was full of adventure and discovery
with our guide Mikey. We had some very close encounters with the wildlife and
literally never knew what would be around the next corner – his knowledge of
the flora and fauna was unbelievable and his enthusiasm just infectious.
Then there was the Lodge itself where we felt pampered and at home.
Between the twice daily drives, and all the food(!) we also managed to tap into
Michael’s expertise to enhance my daughter’s photographic skills while I learnt
far more about wine in a glorious couple of hours with him (Michael Price) than
several decades of quaffing had imparted. I thus felt the least I could do was
show them, and some of the other staff, a few things from my own area of
expertise in astronomy.
I’ve been to the Southern Hemisphere several in my career, and maybe
I shouldn’t be, but I’m always taken aback a little by the Southern sky. First
of all, familiar things are literally ‘upside down’ to a northern European like
me. Then there are the unfamiliar constellations and objects such as the
Magellanic Clouds that are too far South to see from home. Finally, the Milky
Way is even more glorious ‘down there’.
We chose a dark spot in the grounds and looked up. The most obvious
object was our own Moon, just past first quarter. Also easily visible was the
giant planet Jupiter, the largest