Sky Guide

Discover the night sky with the 2024 edition of the Sky Guide, your essential guide to astronomy in southern Africa.

This annual publication offers a clear and concise overview of the year’s astronomical events, perfect for everyone from seasoned observers to those just starting out.

Inside, you’ll find star charts, information on the Sun, Moon and planets and insights into celestial phenomena, all tailored for the southern African skies.

Simple, informative, and practical, the Sky Guide is your reliable companion for exploring the wonders of the night sky.

The current edition (2024) is its 79th year of publication. This edition has a Digital Supplement page, containing material that could not be included in the printed version.

How to get your copy of the Sky Guide

ASSA Centre and Country Members receive a copy as part of their membership benefits!

Non-members can buy the Sky Guide from local book shops, or directly from Penguin Randomhouse/Struik (paperback, e-pub).

Contact the ASSA Secretary to facilitate bulk orders for re-sale.


page 110: The Astronomical Society of Harare meets on the second Saturday of each month.

What others have said…

“An absolute must for first-time stargazers and professional astronomers alike. This concise and practical Sky Guide not only provides you with monthly maps, charts of the heavens and basic astronomical background, but also a wonderful insight into African lore related to current astronomical events. This lightweight small book fits into any purse or backpack wherever you go. You can glean more with one quick glance than from browsing the Internet.” – Prof Renée Kraan-Korteweg, Professor Emeritus of Astronomy, UCT

“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

A Bit of Sky Guide History

The first edition of this Sky Guide was published in 1946 and was known as the Astronomical Handbook for Southern Africa. It consisted of 12 pages and was available for 1/6 from Juta and Co., Darling Street, Cape Town. Dr Richard Hugh Stoy of the Royal Observatory carried out most of the calculations, assisted by Mr Reginald de Kock, Dr Alan Cousins and other members of staff.
In 1957 the book was redesigned and most of the calculations were performed by the Transvaal Centre’s Computing Section. In 1962 the Handbook was sold for 25 cents, and the Royal Observatory was again responsible for generating the data.
In 1974, Dr Tony Fairall at the UCT Astronomy Department took over as editor. The next 13 issues were edited by Mr Rupert Hurly until Ms Pat Booth took over in 1990.
During 2003, a committee consisting of Auke Slotegraaf, Maciej Soltynski and Cliff Turk, assisted by many helpers, redesigned the Handbook. After much deliberation the name was changed to the Sky Guide.

Sky Guide Editors

  • Auke Slotegraaf (2012 – present)
  • Dr Ian Glass (2012 – present)
  • Maciej Soltynski (2003 – 2011)
  • W Trow (2011)
  • A B Jones (2006 – 2009)
  • Auke Slotegraaf (2003 – 2005)