Stargazing Night 25 February 2012

A Stargazing night walk is planned for the 25th of February, from 17:00.

We will meet in the parking at the gate and first look at the sun and the moon that will be clearly visible. After this we will go up on to the koppie from where we will be looking at the stars until 21:00. We will serve some good wine and fruit juices and light snacks.

The cost per person will be R 75.00 and this can be paid into our bank account, clearly stating you name, and Stargazing/ February.

This walk is not suitable for young children.

Banking details: Absa/ Woodlands Acc no 9105029384 code 632005. Copy Proof of payment to


The planned activities for the night;

Fom 17:00 to around 18:30 we should be able to view the following:
• Sun: The sun is recently very active. Sunspots are visible and we can also expect to see solar flares/prominences.
• Moon: One of the few celestial objects that can be viewed in daytime.
• Venus: Should be easy to find at only 4° away from the moon. Venus is normaly visible during daytime but because her contrast against the blue sky is low and you have nothing to focus on, it is difficult to see. When the moon is close by, you can focus on the moon and vie into the direction Venus should be, she is much easier to find.

At 16:30 I will start to relocate to the night viewing position and I should be set-up again by 17:00. The following celestial objects should be viewable:
• Moon and Venus: These objects will be the early evening objects while we wait for more objects to become visible.
• Jupiter: One of the early night time objects to become visible
• Great Orion Nebula: With several of the brightest stars in this constellation, Orion will be one of the first constellations to become visible and it should not be long before we can find the Great Orion Nebula. The Great Orion Nebula is probably the most observed nubula.
• Jewel Box: The Southern Cross also contains of the brightest stars and will be easy to find. The Jewel box is an open cluster that lies next to one of these bright stars and contains stars of different colours (temperatures).
• 47 Tucanae: This is the second brightest globular cluster in the night sky. Lying right next to the Small Magellanic Cloud makes it easy to locate from dark sites, but it may be more challenging from light polluted sites. On clear nights 47 Tucanae can be seen without optical aid from Pretoria.
• Tarantula Nebnula: This nebula is located in the Large Magellanic Cloud and at around 180 000 light years away, this is one of the most distant known nebulae. If it was located at the same distance as the Great Orion Nebula (1600 light years away), then it would be visible in daytime and fill the entire constellation Orion.



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