sponsored by psychohistorian.org
"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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