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Night & Deep Sky Observations


ASSA Bloemfontein's Night and Deep Sky Observation activities take place mainly from members' homes in Bloemfontein, at Boyden Observatory and "dark" spots outside the city. These observation events in club capacity takes place about once a month, weather permitting. Members are also encouraged to do observations in their own time.


On this page you will find:

-
Where to start with night and deep sky observations?

- Information and downloads for deep sky observers
- Observation reports

- Website links: Deep Sky
Click for Bloemfontein, South Africa Forecast

Where to start with night and deep sky observations?

1) Important! Download and go through the ASSA Deep Sky Observer's Companion: ASSA DOC (640 kb PDF)
2) Attend the club's astronomy workshops each year - contact us for more info.

3)
Get a planisphere by downloading a program to make your own (link..).
4) Go through the Deep Sky folder on the club CD.
5) Visit pscyhohistorian.org, website of ASSA Deep Sky Director, for the best source of info (go to website..)


Information and downloads for deep sky members

Quick Deep Sky List for members
Download each month's list, see how many you can find.

Autumn - bright objects for binoculars and galaxies galore for telescopes!
Summer - 9 objects (5 binocular, 4 telescope)

Winter - 10 objects (5 binocular, 5 telescope)
Spring - 10 objects (5 binocular, 5 telescope)

National ASSA Deep Sky section
Please go to the Deep Sky section of ASSA, of who the director is Auke Slotegraaf, for comprehensive additional information on deep sky. Our Centre uses the information obtained from Auke as guidelines for the Deep Sky activities in our own Centre.

Planisphere for the southern hemisphere
The club provides members with planispheres for use from South Africa. Be sure to get your planisphere at the next meeting or download at (link..)

Deep Sky Objects per Constellation for Binoculars

This list contains a number of deep sky objects for binocular use, up to magnitude 6. Specifically meant for reasonable city skies. Download list.


Deep Sky Objects for telescopes: ASSA Top 100
An excellent list for observers in Southern Africa and a MUST for anyone interested in telescope observations. It contains all the best deep sky objects visible from our southern skies. A certificate is coming your way if you observe
! (full information)

Deep Sky Objects Reporting and Drawing Sheet
For those who wish to draw their own deep sky objects or write a report on what they observe. Use this drawing sheet as a point of record and reference. Recommended for the advanced observer, but easily adaptable for beginners. Download the drawing sheet.


Discover!
Learn the constellations, while discovering the deepsky for yourself, with this free workbook called "Discover!". Compiled by Auke Slotegraaf, ASSA Deep Sky Section. Visit the ASSA pages and download the workbook.

Lacaille and Messier deep sky catalogues
Recommended for intermediate to advanced observers, see if you can find the objects on the Lacaille list and in the Messier catalogue. Send your reports to Gerrit.


Software programs - starmaps
Please consult the Club CD for freeware and demos of starmap software. You can also download Cartes du Ciel at: http://www.ap-i.net/skychart/ for a freeware program that generates starmaps (also on the CD). Download STELLARIUM if you want to use a night sky simulator.


Deep sky reports and drawings

National Deep Sky Database

ASSA Bloemfontein Centre's Deep Sky reports form part of the deep sky database of national ASSA's Deep Sky Section (it is not duplicated on this site).

For guidelines on how to appreciate deep sky objects during observations, go through the Deep Sky Observer's Checklist on the Psychohistorian.org website.

On these pages you will also find useful tips on how to draw objects and describe what you see.

MNASSA Deepsky Delights

Magda Streicher writes a column called "Deepsky Delights" in each MNASSA on the finer art of deep sky observing.

Go to ASSA page.

Example of what you can find on the database:



Deep Sky Links

Sky and Telescope - http://skyandtelescope.com/
National ASSA Deep Sky section -
www.saao.ac.za/assa/html/32_deepsky.html
Psychohistorian.org
comprehensive Deep Sky resources for South Africans
STSCi Digital Sky Survey: archive.stsci.edu/cgi-bin/dss_form
Astronomy Picture of the Day: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html
SEDS: The Messier Catalogue:
www.seds.org/messier/
Deep-Sky.org:
www.deep-sky.org/
Deep Sky Database:
www.virtualcolony.com/sac/


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