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Guide to dark skies in Southern Africa

"For some years now," Mauritz Geyser writes, "I've wanted some kind of map that would give me a indication of where I can expect dark skies."

Armed with his GPS MapSource software, and a high-resolution version of NASA's famous "Earth at Night" image, Mauritz used Micrografix Picture Publisher to merge the two maps to produce a wonderful resource for sky-gazers: a detailed map of Southern Africa (including most of Namibia and parts of Botswana) showing cities, towns, major roads – and areas heavily affected by light pollution.

"I see now that the site I went to, to take photos of Comet McNaught from the Magaliesburg on January 23rd, was probably not a good choice," he writes. "About 40km further west would have been better, I think."

Mauritz has generated four images and kindly made them available for download:

Dark Sky Guide for Southern Africa (273 KB)

Dark Sky Guide for central regions of South Africa, including Vryburg, Klerksdorp, Vereeniging, Newcastle, Welkom, Bloemfontein, Durban, Margate, De Aar & Beaufort-West (521 KB)

Dark Sky Guide for northern and eastern South Africa, including Johannesburg, Pretoria, Vereeniging, Klerksdorp, Welkom, Newcastle, Mbabane, Polokwane, Maputo, Gabarone & Mmabatho (507 KB)

Dark Sky Guide for south-western South Africa, including Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein, Queenstown, De Aar, Kimberley, Beaufort West, George, Mossel Bay, Swellendam, Wellington, Saldanha, Springbok, Aggenys & Stellenbosch (522 KB)

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Everything on DOCdb.net is © 2004-2010 by Auke Slotegraaf, unless stated otherwise or if you can prove you have divine permission to use it. Before using material published here, please consult the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.5 License. Some material on DOCdb is copyright the individual authors. If in doubt, don't reproduce. And that goes for having children, too. Please note that the recommended browser for DOCdb is Firefox 3.x. You may also get good results with K-Meleon. Good luck if you're using IE. A successful experience with other browsers, including Opera and Safari, may vary.

Southern African Dark Sky Guide

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