Lacaille at the Cape of Good Hope

Lacaille 8760 is the brightest red dwarf in Earth’s sky. And this 6.69 magnitude red dwarf honours a truly remarkable French astronomer – Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille (1713-1762) – the man who literally lived and died for the stars.

Ptolemy’s Milky Way

Little to me is more intoxicating than lying on my back on a moonless night in the Kalahari, gazing naked eye into the Milky Way – in this unadulterated dark sky it is a dazzling river of starlight arching across the sky, so brilliant the land seems to be showered with a dew of falling starlight.

Father Tachard’s Astronomy

Modern astronomy in South Africa began with ships, or perhaps it would be more correct to say it began with shipwrecks.

Solar Eclipse… with Maria Mitchell

You don’t see a total eclipse – you experience it. It is an exquisitely odd and wondrous experience that affects one profoundly, and is very difficult to describe, beyond saying there are changes above you, around you, and within you.

Gould’s Belt

It’s not hard to see why astronomer Ken Croswell wrote that if he were kidnapped by an alien spaceship and taken to some remote corner of the Galaxy, Gould’s Belt is what he’d look for to find his way back home….

The Irreplaceable Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan died twenty years ago today at the far-too-young age of 62. When we set sail with him on the vast dark cosmic ocean in his “spacecraft of the imagination” he gave us something of incalculable value: he inspired a love of science, learning, and freedom of inquiry.

Herschel… Symphonies and Uranus

Who amongst us isn’t dumbfounded at the genius and mighty life-work of William Herschel? Arguably the greatest of all astronomical observers…