The recent “conjunction” of Jupiter and Saturn has raised awareness of the night skies above us. Many smallholders are able to see the stars relatively well, if they live far from the lights of town. So we thought you might be interested in two recently published books that will help you to identify what you are looking up at.

Sky Guide Africa South – 2021 is the newest in the series that is published every year by Penguin Random House SA. It is a practical resource for all astronomers, whether novice, amateur or professional. It covers the upcoming year’s planetary movements, predicted eclipses, meteor showers – any events and facets of the night sky that change annually. Star charts plot the evening sky for each season, facilitating the identification of stars and constellations. The guide contains a wealth of information about the Sun, Moon, planets, comets, meteors and bright stars, with photos, diagrams, charts and images. There’s also an excellent list of useful websites and a comprehensive glossary.

Recommended Price ~R150.00.

2021 Guide to the Night Sky Southern Hemisphere – A Month-by-Month Guide to Exploring the Skies Above Australia, New Zealand and South Africa is a  comprehensive handbook about the planets, stars and constellations visible from the southern hemisphere. There are 6 pages for each month, with diagrams drawn for the latitude of southern Australia, but including events visible from New Zealand and South Africa. Written and illustrated by astronomical experts, Storm Dunlop and Wil Tirion. Content includes:  

  • Advice on where to start looking;
  • Easy-to-use star maps for each month with descriptions of what to see;
  • Special, detailed charts for positions of planets, minor planets and comets in 2021;
  • Seasonal charts and much more

Recommended Price ~R 175

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