A Mountain in a Sea of Stars

table-mountainAs a South African, one of the most moving sights in the night sky is Mensa – our imposing Table Mountain depicted in the stars, its faint stars sharing the sky with ancient gods and heroes, fabulous creatures and the tools of art and science.

Apart from being the only terrestrial feature on our planet to be immortalised as a constellation, the mountain is fabulous in its own right. Fascinating geology, an over-abundance of floral species, a rich history… and

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A Few Beautiful Carbon Stars

R sculptoris-credit-eso-digitized-sky-survey-2To me carbon stars are the most beautiful stars. I’ll never tire of looking at them. Not only because of their vivid red colours, but also because I find it stupefying to view a sun near the end of its life, knowing that one day it will shed its sooty carbon atmosphere, seeding the cosmos with the very element that makes life possible.

In these beautifully dark Kalahari skies some carbon stars smoulder like red-hot embers, others glitter like stellar

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The Three Great Nebulae

tarantula-interior-hubbleLittle to me is more wondrous than looking at the silvery glow of nebulae churning gas and dust into newly-minted stars. From the nebulae that appear as nothing more than ghostly apparitions to the three colossal star-birth nebulae visible in our skies, I can’t think of any grander sight in all of nature than the birth of new stars out of a dark cloud of interstellar gas and dust.

One of the the most sublime experiences of living in

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Grasses and the LMC Globulars

dscf4329Walking in the Kalahari is like meandering around in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Both are so rich in endless discoveries that it gives one the feeling nothing is fixed or final or known – it’s like walking a giant question mark with no beginning or end.

When my dog Waldo and I first arrived in the Kalahari and settled into our remote dark skies cottage, the only walking decision we made was north? south? east? west? because every walk brought

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