Nightfall V 4 # 1 – June 2020

Comet C/2020 F8 (SWAN) – by Kos Coronaios

Comet C/2020 F8 (SWAN) was discovered in images taken by the SWAN camera on March 25th 2020, aboard the Solar Heliospheric Observer (SOHO), I was fortunate to have a number of imaging/observing sessions before the comet moved to close to the horizon in the early hours of the morning to be visible from my location in Pearly Beach, Western Cape. These started from the middle of April, with the last session on the 5th May when proximity to the horizon as well as the Moon became problematic.

Analyzing the images from SWAN, Michael Mattiazzo, (Swan Hill, Australia), realized that they showed a new comet in outburst. The comet increased in brightness becoming a naked eye apparition towards the end of April. While Southern hemisphere observers have had the best seats from around mid April to early May, the comet is rapidly moving northwards and if the comet’s brightness increases or at least remains as is for the next few weeks, northern hemisphere observers and astrophotographers are in for a treat. Comet SWAN will make its closest approach to Earth on May 12 and reach perihelion on May 27.

Stargazing in SA National Parks

South African National Parks (SANParks) recognised the need to diversify and expand their current tourist activities to provide meaningful experiences to its visitors.

Astro-tourism has been identified as a potential activity with minimal environmental impact, while providing visitors with the opportunity to experience the natural environment in a unique way.

The primary objective of this study is to determine the feasibility of stargazing activities in SANParks. Participation in the research process is voluntary and all information will remain confidential and anonymous.  Your contribution to the study is important and its success depends on the number of respondents who complete the survey. For more information, contact Amélia Wassenaar at starsandparks@gmail.com

Click here to start the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/83FGGXR

Sky Guide 2020 now available

Posted 2019 November 26

Big 5 of the African Sky

Published 2017 June 23
The Big 5 of the African Sky – the five best deep-sky objects – are beautifully placed at this time of year for observing.

Find out more about the Big 5 and how to observe them and also how to qualify for this beautiful personalized mug!