Annual Conference on High Energy Astrophysics in Southern Africa
HEASA 2016 is the fourth conference in the annual series "High Energy Astrophysics in Southern Africa". Its goal is to bring together scientists from the southern African region, the African continent, and around the world, with an interest in high-energy astrophysical phenomena. Topics discussed include theoretical, multi-wavelength and multi-messenger observational aspects of active galactic nuclei, galaxy systems, gamma-ray bursts, X-ray/gamma-ray binaries, supernovae and supernova remnants, neutron stars, pulsars and pulsar wind nebulae, cataclysmic variables, and modern aspects of astro-particle physics.
Neil Gehrels (b. October 3, 1952, d. February 6, 2017)
We are deeply saddened that Neil Gehrels, a pioneer in gamma-ray astronomy and an invited speaker at HEASA 2016, passed away on February 6, 2017 at his home in Maryland, USA. Neil was well known for his leadership role in space-based gamma-ray observatories, especially as the Project Scientist of NASA’s Swift mission. He also lent support to many ground-based robotic optical telescopes across the world to promptly follow up on gamma-ray bursts and other transient events.
Neil accepted immediately when he was invited to give a talk at the HEASA 2016 conference in Cape Town. We are very fortunate indeed that he managed to travel to South Africa and give a wonderful talk. His absence will be felt dearly among the space-based astronomy community as well as ground-based transient follow-up communities across the world. This is indeed a great loss for us.