The Sky Guide is the astronomical handbook for southern Africa, and is an invaluable practical resource for anyone who has even a passing interest in the night skies of southern Africa.
Prepared yearly by the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa as a reference work for the novice, amateur and professional astronomer, it continues the tradition of the well-established Astronomical Handbook for Southern Africa.
It presents a wealth of information about the Sun, Moon, planets, comets, meteors and bright stars in a clear and accessible way, accompanied by a number of diagrams to support the text.
The current edition (2017) is its 71st year of publication.
Exclusive 2017 Sky Guide competition!
This superb astro-bundle of goodies could be yours if you take part in the Sky Guide 2017 competition: a 60-mm iOptron computerized refractor (with GOTO and tracking) and a selection of Struik Nature astronomy books! Turn to page 127 of the Sky Guide, answer the competition question and submit the original competition coupon (via snail mail!) to us. The competition closing date is 2017 March 20. The winning entry will be drawn by an ASSA Council Appointee and the winner will be notified telephonically. Good luck!
In the media
Rapport Boekeblad bl. 14. 22 Januarie 2017
- Classic FM 102.7, Lifestyle, Tamara LePine-Williams, 2016 December 05 (download podcast)
- Fine Music Radio 101.3, Looking Up, Kechil Kirkham, 2017 January 06 (download podcast)
Table of contents of the 2017 Sky Guide
|Highlights for 2017
Star charts for summer
Star charts for autumn
Star charts for winter
Star charts for spring
Observing the Sun
Eclipses of the Sun
Ramadan and Shawwal
Moon maps (First & Last Quarter)
Overview of planets for 2017
Rise and set times
Visibility of the planets
Solar system fact sheet
Orbits of the asteroids
Meteor showers during 2017
Meteorites and impact craters
Stars and constellations
Patterns in the night sky
The lives and deaths of stars
Pronouncing star names
Star charts: Sirius & Proxima Cen
Observing the deep-sky
Basic observing skills
Finding southern constellations
Finding circumpolar constellations
Choosing a telescope
Dark adaptation and averted vision
Where to go star gazing
Astronomy in southern Africa
Astronomical societies and clubs
Star parties & other annual events
Careers in astronomy
ASSA Officers 2016 – 2017
The advertizers in the 2017 edition are:
- Centre for Astronomical Heritage
- Eridanus Optics
- NRF & South African Astronomical Observatory
- Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Africa
- Foton Optoelectronics
- Iziko: Planetarium
- Telescope Shop
- University of the Free State & Naval Hill Planetarium
- Eridanus Optics
How to get your copy of the Sky Guide
ASSA Country Members receive a copy in the post as part of their membership benefits.
Members of ASSA Centres may approach their Centre committee to enjoy a reduced price for a copy for their own personal use (but not for onward selling).
Bulk orders of the Sky Guide (for bookshops and other re-sellers) may be negotiated directly with Lucille Bester at Struik Nature: (e-mail: lucilleb randomstruik.co.za, phone: 021 460 5400).
What others have said…
“The Sky Guide has become an invaluable resource for anyone in South Africa who has an interest in astronomy, from the fledgling stargazer to the professional astronomer. The monthly dairy is very useful to keep up with events and the supporting diagrams are excellent and easy to interpret. The Sky Guide has plenty for everyone, including useful contacts and web links”. – Dr David Buckley, SALT Project Scientist & Astronomy Operations Manager
“A splendidly presented guide to the southern sky, this compact, concise and thorough astronomical handbook is an invaluable resource for all sky-watchers, be they amateurs or professional. I particularly liked its guide through the richest regions of the southern Milky Way, and it has an excellent list of useful web sites”. – Prof. P Charles, Former Director SAAO
Sky Guide Editors
- A Slotegraaf (2011 – present)
- I S Glass (2011 – present)
- M G Soltynski (2003 – 2011)
- W Trow (2010)
- A B Jones (2006 – 2009)
- A Slotegraaf (2003 – 2005)