Oudtshoorn Info
Friday, 22 February 2019  6:41am SA Time 
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Contact Stargazing

Hanlie Keller

Tel: +27 (0) 44 279 4019

Cell: +27 (0) 82 504 7156

Fax: +27 (0) 86 508 2437


Address: PO Box 1458, Oudtshoorn, 6625

Stargazing

This is African big sky country. One of the highlights of being in the Karoo is to gaze up and marvel at the star studded skies at night. Fewer skies could be more beautiful and awe inspiring. From Mooiplaas, we have an extraordinarily beautiful view of the skies.

Some of the things to look for in our skies:

It is claimed that the southern hemisphere skies are brighter with more numerous stars than the northern hemisphere. Certainly the southern sky is full of objects you cannot view from the northern hemisphere.

Witness the great Greek mythology enacted in the celestial heavens. Orion, so the legend goes, meets his end when stung by the Scorpion so Zeus ordered that the killer and the victim be kept apart, so they are at opposite ends of the sky - one rising while the other sets.

In African mythology, according to the u/Wasi and Khoikhoi people, the three stars of Orion's belt appear as three zebras - a male in the center flanked by 2 females. To the Dogon people, the three stars represent the staircase to heaven.

The Southern Cross:

The Southern Cross is a brilliant constellation consisting of several bright gems more or less in the shape of a cross. The brightest is Alpha Crucis, which is actually a triple star system. Beta Crusis is a blue star, and Gamma Crusis, at the head of the cross, is an orange coloured star. The star denoting the right-most corner on the cross (Delta Crusis) is the faintest of the four.



The Milky Way - Our Home:

The Milky Way named because of its milky appearance, is our galaxy. It is a spiral galaxy with a large concentration of stars in its nucleus - called the Galactic Centre.

Our Sun is itself a fairly young star at only 5 billion years old. It takes almost 250 million years to rotate once around the Galactic Centre.

The centre of the Milky Way is located in the Southern hemisphere, in the constellation Sagittarius.


Contact Stargazing

Hanlie Keller

Tel: +27 (0) 44 279 4019

Cell: +27 (0) 82 504 7156

Fax: +27 (0) 86 508 2437


Address: PO Box 1458, Oudtshoorn, 6625

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Did You Know ?

Even though giraffes are often seen together in groups, they do not form the complex social groups of many plains species. Theirs are loose associations, constantly changing in make-up.

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