Astronomy in the wild places of Africa is especially rewarding as you will access areas that are completely free of light pollution .
Astronomy has been an interest of mine for many years , part of the attraction being that it is such a vast subject that the scope fpr learning is endless . The changing vista from month to month and even night to night means that there are always new areas of the skies to explore .
I find it it very rewarding to open up the vast panorama of the skies at night and explain how the constellations each have their own story within our home galaxy, the Milky Way and beyond . There are tales of Greek heroes and sea serpents and great ships in the sky as well as upside down bears and celestial rivers which link up with the mythology of the ancient Egyptians . Tales of Orion the great hunter and The Seven Sisters ( M45 ) also known as the Pleiades , the best known of the open galactic clusters in the summer skies placed in the constellation of Taurus the bull .The Southern Cross ( Crux ) will chart your path south and orientate you on the ground , after following the Pointers to its kite -like pattern . The closest stars to earth and the brightest will become apparent when l point them out with an astronomical green laser pointer .
The Planets constantly change their position in the sky in relation to the zodiacal constellations and as such are visible at different times of the year either in the evening or early morning skies .
The following image centres on the Southern Cross , above Chiawa Camp in southern Zambia ( image from Starry Night Pro 5 ).
Straddling the Cross is the consteallation Centaurus , above . Left is Lupus ( The Wolf ) and below this is Norma , under the Cross is Circinus and Musca ( The Fly ) .
Vela ( The Sails ) and Carina ( The Keel ) to the right of the cross are part of the great ship Argo , in which Jason and the Argonauts travelled on their many adventures . the other components of the ship are Pyxis ( The Compass ) and Puppis ( Poop Deck ) .
Under the ship is Volans , which is a flying fish .
To the extreme left of the image is a part of Scorpio ( The Scorpion )
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THIS IS A VIEW OF THE SKY ABOVE CHIAWA CAMP as of 9 JUNE 2012 ( from Starry Night Pro )
Click on the image to make it larger and more detail will emerge .