Southern Africa's first privately-funded observation facility dedicated to optical tracking of space objects and debris
ASTRONOC (Astronomical Observation Centre) aims to establish near earth observation facilities for research and education in space object and debris optical tracking. Through its partnership with the Purple Mountain Observatory, a member of the Chinese Academy of Science, it has established its first observation facility near the town of Bonnievale in the Western Cape. This is the first such facility in South Africa to contribute to the global effort on Space Debris coordinated by the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee.
The facilities will comprise fully automatic large field-of-view optical telescopes to carry out operational surveys of space debris in the geosynchronous orbit.
ASTRONOC is a fully privately-funded and owned initiative.
As one of the Milky Way's nearest neighbouring galaxies, the SMC is a dwarf galaxy spanning 7 000 light-years in diameter, at an intergalactic distance of about
200 000 light-years.