Southern African Dark Sky Guide

posted: 3886 days ago, on Friday, 2007 Feb 02 at 04:49
tags: astronomy, deep sky.

Contributer: Mauritz Geyser


"For some years now," Mauritz Geyser writes, "I've wanted some kind of map that would give me a indication of where I can expect dark skies."

Armed with his GPS MapSource software, and a high-resolution version of NASA's famous "Earth at Night" image, Mauritz used Micrografix Picture Publisher to merge the two maps to produce a wonderful resource for sky-gazers: a detailed map of Southern Africa (including most of Namibia and parts of Botswana) showing cities, towns, major roads and areas heavily affected by light pollution.

"I see now that the site I went to, to take photos of Comet McNaught from the Magaliesburg on January 23rd, was probably not a good choice," he writes. "About 40km further west would have been better, I think."

Mauritz has generated four images and kindly made them available for download:

  1. Dark Sky Guide for Southern Africa (273 KB)
  2. Dark Sky Guide for central regions of South Africa, including Vryburg, Klerksdorp, Vereeniging, Newcastle, Welkom, Bloemfontein, Durban, Margate, De Aar & Beaufort-West (521 KB)
  3. Dark Sky Guide for northern and eastern South Africa, including Johannesburg, Pretoria, Vereeniging, Klerksdorp, Welkom, Newcastle, Mbabane, Polokwane, Maputo, Gabarone & Mmabatho (507 KB)
  4. Dark Sky Guide for south-western South Africa, including Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein, Queenstown, De Aar, Kimberley, Beaufort West, George, Mossel Bay, Swellendam, Wellington, Saldanha, Springbok, Aggenys & Stellenbosch (522 KB)

nothing more to see. please move along.