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Cederberg Astronomical Observatory

Cederberg Astronomical Observatory

Some 240km north of Cape Town, high in the Cederberg Mountains, on the Dwarsrivier farm, you will find the Cederberg Astronomical Observatory. The observatory is a owned by non-profit organization of seven partners and was commissioned in the early 1980s, it has developed into an amateur astronomers paradise. The classic observatory dome houses a 16" telescope and a shed with a roll-off roof is home to another. Piers have been set up as polar-aligned mounts for portable telescopes (with power points) and there are a couple of home-made Newtonian telescopes available for general use. Over the years the astronomers on duty found it necessary to construct basic but comfortable accommodation, complete with ablution facilities and a kitchen area. The partners who run the observatory all have different interests from, astrophotography, to measurement of stars, but a few hours have been set aside on Saturday nights when the observatory is open to the general public. According to the observatory: A slideshow is given offering a basic introduction to the wonders of the night sky and is followed by viewing through a telescope or two. The universe is a vast area, and from this little spot on our planet it is possible to see other planets, comets, nebulae, open clusters, globular clusters, planetary nebulae and any other galaxies that may be visible.

Should you be interested in taking a large group of people such as school groups, youth groups etc. up to the observatory, any of the partners can be contacted for more information and to make arrangements. Remember that Astronomy is an outdoor activity and the temperatures in this region can drop substantially at night, so remember to bring plenty of warm clothing.

Directions
From Cape Town travel 200km along the N7 North toward Clanwilliam. Look out for the sign reading Algeria Forest Station some 28km after the Citrusdal turn-off. Take the Algeria Forest Station turn (gravel road). The observatory is then 48km from the turn-off, about 1 km BEFORE the Dwarsrivier farmstead on the Maltese Cross Rd.

For more information contact: Email:
Website:
www.cederbergobs.org.za

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