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 Post subject: Re: Green laser pointers
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:16 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 2:15 pm
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Location: Johannesburg - too far from the closest Sanpark
I was agreeing with you :)
Most reviews I've read online claim that manufacturer's claims are usually exaggerated, i.e. the lasers can't burn plastic or pop balloons etc. They're still very dangerous though.

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The 'mite formerly known as joshilewis

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 Post subject: Re: Green laser pointers
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:34 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Johannesburg - too far from the closest Sanpark
Lockie wrote:
I knew you agreed with me and thanks josh, I just wanted to drive my 'point' home :lol:
I was amazed by the Southern Sky both in the daylight, but especially at night! EVERYTHING was so different from what we were used to, and at time I was kicking myself I didn't include an astronomy book with the rest of the bird, reptile, mammals books we had used while visiting that most beautiful spots most of you call home

Yeah it is very different. I've made a point of looking at N Hemisphere stars on two occasions, both in deserts (in Israel and India) and our stars are much more impressive.

I'm slowly starting to get into the finer aspects of guiding/ecology etc, including star gazing (I wouldn't quite call it astronomy yet).

For book recommendations check this topic.

I wonder if there's a market for a 'safari book' rental service?

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The 'mite formerly known as joshilewis

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Glen Reenen TR

15-18 June: Berg-en-dal


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 Post subject: Re: Green laser pointers
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 2:40 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 2:15 pm
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Location: Johannesburg - too far from the closest Sanpark
Preliminary review: I've been playing with my pointer over a few nights, but I haven't had a chance to do some decent star gazing due to the weather and light pollution in Jo'burg.

So far I am very impressed. The laser dot can be seen clearly at 50m away in twilight, and possibly more (I haven't had the chance to check further distances yet). The beam can be seen indoors with curtains closed (assuming decent curtains). The beam can also be seen clearly while pointed at a full moon.

All in all, I am very impressed.

The only real downside is it seems to eat batteries (rechargables); and the beam intensity drops after a few minutes of continuous usage (not sure if its batteries, heat or a low quality unit).
I paid under USD20 for mine from Amazon (with a traveling relative kindly bringing it back).

I can't wait to try it out 'for real'.

I'll try taking some photos and posting them soon, when the weather here clears a little.

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The 'mite formerly known as joshilewis

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Glen Reenen TR

15-18 June: Berg-en-dal


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 Post subject: Re: Stargazing - Helpful hints and stuff.
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:02 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 1607
Location: Back on earth.....
Ai... I'm only reading this topic now...

Problem is, out of my whole family/friends group, it seems I'm the only one really interested in the stars, etc :doh: :roll: (Besides Sawubona who has a scope and then 'forgets' to take it with :twisted:)

Anyway, definately getting that book Beutelgeuse 8) Good idea about the 'printing per month' method, will remember when I go to Kruger in december!

Back to falling stars: last October, I couldn't sleep, duhu, it was my first night in Marakele!! SUCH a cool place to relax. Our tents were a bit packed, so I took my matrass I 'parked' on the front-tent. I positioned it in such a way that I could look at the awesome display of stars, and as I switched off all the nearby lights, I could even clearly see the milky way. That aside, between the Jackals calling and the 'growling' sounds of the ostriches, I managed to see 12 falling stars! A few very clear, 1 BIG one and that all in 5 hours.

I will still remember that night, surrounded by jackals, a bunch of springhares and 6 or so ostriches. Not a 'BIG 5' hunter's paradise, but truely a magnificent jewel of african wildlife VERY close to nature. As pure as it gets.

Definately going back, even if it was only for the stargazing oppurtunities 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Stargazing - Helpful hints and stuff.
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 5:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 2:30 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Kalahari
There are two sites that have helped me out a lot,
(Stellarium runs far too slowly on my pc) :evil:

I highly recommend
www.skymaps.com (click on downloads for a monthly sky chart)
www.heavens-above.com (have those GPS co-ords at the ready)

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Ex Africa semper aliquid novi
Always something new out of Africa - Pliny the Elder

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FGASA Level 1 Guide
17 years of life in the magical Kalahari and LOVING IT!


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 Post subject: Re: Stargazing - Helpful hints and stuff.
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 2:04 pm 
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Location: Kalahari
Sky Maps is a great way to introduce your clients to astronomy at a very low cost - I give night walks (Kalahari stargazing is AWESOME) and print out the charts for my clients so that they can each look at their own stars in stead of having to do the guesswork.

Heavens Above is again great for the more "artificial" side of astronomy because it gives you great info on iridium flares, satellites, the ISS passings etc.

Just remember that the star charts on Sky Maps are all collaborated on UT, so you must add two hours to whatever event times are given on the chart.

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Ex Africa semper aliquid novi
Always something new out of Africa - Pliny the Elder

Thanatosis emoticon - :shock:

FGASA Level 1 Guide
17 years of life in the magical Kalahari and LOVING IT!


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 Post subject: Re: Stargazing - Helpful hints and stuff.
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 12:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 4:41 pm
Posts: 14
i am also a newbe with stargazing. (one of those that still see a bunny in the moon....) Stargazing from game reserves in sa- Anthony Fairall helped me a lot. I can id now scorpion in winter, orion in summer, southern cross, moon (most of the year). with greek and african tell tales/beliefs. In this book, there are sky maps for every month. Last night a friend tried to show me "the arrow", which was next to orion's belt, he said the arrow always point north(from army days). Tonight i will use my glasses try to spot it. Do any of you know about it?


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 Post subject: Star Gazing App
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 1:29 pm
Posts: 244
Location: Constantia Kloof, JHB
Hi all

I am totally new at star gazing, but I am becoming increasingly interested in the topic.

Can somebody perhaps tell me which of all the Apps out there would be the best to download and would be the best to help me along?

Many thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Star Gazing App
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:57 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 2:15 pm
Posts: 1899
Location: Johannesburg - too far from the closest Sanpark
Hi Bundi, what phone/operating system do you have?
I have Android, I use:
Google Sky Map
SkEye
I've also Star Odyssey in the past, very informative.

I will add that I had started to use star maps before the apps came out, and found it very rewarding to be able to locate and identify things from a star map, instead of relying on an app all the time. (I can recommend the book 'Stargazing from Game Reserves').

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The 'mite formerly known as joshilewis

FGASA Level 1 Guide

Glen Reenen TR

15-18 June: Berg-en-dal


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 Post subject: Re: Star Gazing App
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:29 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 1:29 pm
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Location: Constantia Kloof, JHB
Hi JotB

Thank you very much for the information. I have an iPhone 5.

I will look into all the Apps as well as the book and we are looking forward to this new 'hobby'.

Regards


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 Post subject: Re: Star Gazing App
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:45 am
Posts: 82
Location: Witbank, Mpumalanga
Hi Bundi,

I use Skyview on my iPhone, very cool, it picks up your location itself and gives plenty info, best app on my phone for the outdoors

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