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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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Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 12:11 pm
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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

Thanatosis emoticon - :shock:

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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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Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 2:30 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: 1901
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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 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
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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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 Post subject: Re: Best night sky viewing
Unread postPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 5:22 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:20 pm
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Karoo National Park is a mighty fine spot for stargazing. The cool night air during winter months eliminate any distortions and on a moonless night the number of stars is over whelming, billions almost within arms reach. Only the human eye has the ability to capture this incredibly vast heavenly display adequately.


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 Post subject: Re: Best night sky viewing
Unread postPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 11:24 pm 
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Distinguished Virtual Ranger
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Hear hear. :clap: :clap: :clap: The most magnificent skies are in the Karoo. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Best night sky viewing
Unread postPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 2:22 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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I agree, onewithnature. I have been fortunate to view night skies all over SA, and without a doubt, Karoo skies present the best heavenly display.
They wouldnt choose this area for the construction of the largest telescope in the southern hemisphere if it wasnt so. There is something very spectacular about the Karoo night sky.


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 Post subject: What time is best for star-gazing?
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 7:14 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2008 1:26 pm
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I've been in Kruger at different times of the year:

Middle March at Letaba
Beginning of December at Skukuza
Beginning of January, also Skukuza

... and I've been dazzled by the beauty of all the stars. The skies are absolutely white with all the stars, you can't believe the beauty of it. It's as bright as a full-moon night. There's almost not a square inch where you don't see a million stars.

And then I went to Kruger (Lower Sabie, and also Olifants) during the last week of November, and I saw only the three stars that I see here at home in Gauteng with all the ambient light of the city. What a disappointment!

Could it be that there is such a big difference between the last week of November, and the second week of December?

And also, when can the Southern Cross be viewed?

What must I do to be dazzled again?

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 Post subject: Re: What time is best for star-gazing?
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:37 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Far South in South Africa.
Ingrid1968, i see the following:

1 Oct @ 04h00
1 Nov @ 02h00
1 Dec @ 00h00
1 Jan @ 22h00
1 Feb @ 20h00 :wink:

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