Notice: 2019 Spring SSP. (September 25-30)

As we promised the 17th Southern Star Party or, if you prefer it the Spring 2019 Southern Star Party, is just around the corner and we would like to invite you to come and spend time with us under some of the best dark skies available within easy driving distance of Cape Town. 

Come and take your own star trails like this one at the upcoming SSP.

The official programme runs from Friday the 27th till Sunday the 29th but we urge you to pitch up on Wednesday the 25rd and stay till Monday the 30th. That way you will get lots more personal observing time and lots more talk-time with the other astronomers.

First Announcement


Update 1


Update 2


What can you expect at the 17th Southern Star Party?

The main speaker is – Prof. Patrick Woudt, Head of the Astronomy Department at the University of Cape Town

The second speaker is – Dr. Daniél Groenewald, a SALT Astronomer at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO)

“What’s up tonight”

Conducted by Auke Slotegraaf*

Short talks by fellow astronomy enthusiasts

We haven’t finalized this list yet but here are the provisionals.
Christine Kersting
Jay Fox
Pamela Cooper
Wendy Vermeulen


All this stuff is very useful and can be downloaded if you go to “Downloads“.

Big 5 of the African Sky – The best of the best!
ConCards – free star atlas
Stargazing 101 from ASSA
Discover (version 3)
Southern Star Wheel – free DIY planisphere (If you print this, do so on A3, please.)

However, if you want us to make copies and bind the material for you we will but you will, unfortunately, have to pay. See the registration form for more information.

Photographing the Night Sky

A very basic workshop for people who want to start photographing the night sky will be run by Wim Filmalter. Wim’s description of what you can expect is as follows:

A basic astrophotography workshop at the SSP intended for people that would like to photograph the night sky, but have never done so and also for people that have tried and couldn’t make it work.

The workshop will be presented in three sections:
1. A daytime information talk with PowerPoint examples at 09:00 on the Saturday morning,
2. A practical night time workshop after the What’s up Tonight on Saturday evening and
3. A feedback session with Wim on the Sunday morning at 09:00.

  • The practical workshop will be focussing on wide-angle night time photography of the Milky Way or other regions of interest.
  • Equipment necessary to participate will include the following:
  • A DSLR, mirrorless or bridge camera with ISO capability of at least 3200 as well as live view facility.
  • Wide-angle lenses. Kit lenses are OK eg. 18-55mm. 18mm at least on crop-frame cameras and 24mm on full-frame are preferable. Zoom lenses are a nice asset to assist with focus.
  • A sturdy tripod.
  • A remote cable release or wireless release.
    It is highly recommended that each participant takes time before the SSP to study their camera manual in order to familiarise themselves with its functions before the event.

Sale Table

We are going to have a Sale Table again so bring along books and astronomy-related things you want to sell.

Display Table

We are going to have a Display Table for people who want to show off gadgets they have built or innovative changes or additions to their equipment and especially for astrophotographers who want to display the fruits of their labours.