the southern star party

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Southern Star Party

Spring 2015 SSP

The Spring 2015 SSP was held on the week-end of November 06–08 at Night Sky Caravan Park, Bonnievale, South Africa.

Scenes from the Spring SSP

Southern Star Party, photos by Chris Vermeulen
Southern Star Party, photos by Chris Vermeulen
Southern Star Party
Southern Star Party

(top) Telescope Area. (centre) Martin sukkel nog 'n bietjie | John Richards (bottom) Offical SSP Photographer & Solar Guide Chris Vermeulen | Deon's sunscope | Chris' sunscope


19:00 Meet-and-Greet
19:30 Beginner’s Programme starts, Fight Light Pollution! starts, Constellation Explorers set up
20:00 All lights out!
20:00 Deep-Sky Challenge starts
20:15 Constellation Exploration starts

08:30 Beginner’s Programme, continued
10:30 Tea & coffee in the Social Tent
11:00 Africa in Space – Kechil Kirkham
11:45 Building (a pinch of) SALT – Alan Cassells
12:30 Detecting the Sun in Microwaves [demo] - Evan Knox-Davies
13:00 Braai
14:30 Modelling MeerKAT – Bani van der Merwe
15:00 A New Glimpse of the Old Cape Observatory – Auke Slotegraaf
15:45 Feedback: Constellation Exploration & Deep-Sky Challenge
16:00 World Famous SSP Pub Quiz
18:00 Group photo
19:30 Beginner’s Programme, continued
20:00 All lights out!
20:00 Deep-Sky Challenge, continued
20:00 Constellation Exploration (repeat)

09:00 Tea & coffee in the Social Tent
10:00 Presentation of certificates
10:00 Farewell until next time! (2016 Autumn SSP, February 05 – 07)

Guest list to date

The following clever folk have already registered and will be joining in the fun:

Deon Begemann, Ronelle Begemann, Alan Cassells, Rose Cassells, Martin Coetzee, Jopie Coetzee, Pieternel Coetzee, Barry Dumas, Miemie Dumas, Dwayne Engelbrecht, Iain Finlay, Edward Foster, Lynnette Foster, Louis Fourie, Sebastian Guile, Clair Ingrim, Kechil Kirkham, Evan Knox-Davies, Paul Kruger, Aurelie Lemiere, Roelina Losper, Eddy Nijeboer, Jannie Nijeboer, Kim Reitz, Marius Reitz, John Richards, Leslie Rose, Auke Slotegraaf, James Smith, Alida Taljaard, Bani van der Merwe, Willem van Zyl, Chris Vermeulen, Gerhard Vermeulen & Ms Carmen, and Wendy Vermeulen.

First announcement

Dear stargazers, observers and astrophotographers,

Herewith the first reminder that the 10th Southern Star Party to be held on the weekend of 2015 November 06-08 at Night Sky Caravan Park.

Please feel free to make an early bird booking by sending an e-mail to foster.lynnette [at] to ensure that you will have a place to stay. Don't forget to make early arrangements for leave, house sitters, etc., as the programme will start early on the evening of Friday, the 6th of November.

Due to early bird bookings already received, there are only camping sites available. A camping site costs R170 per campsite (four people; electricity included).

Via Gesina, the owner of Night Sky Caravan Park:
1. Registered SSP attendees will in future not be allowed to receive any visitors, unless they are registered as SSP attendees.
2. Gesina again stressed the point that she will not allow any dogs on the premises.

The necessary booking form will be available soon.

Hope to hear from you soon and also to see you at the Spring Southern Star Party!

Clear skies and best wishes,
Star People Organizing Committee



The SSP is a gathering of stargazing enthusiasts in the Western Cape, South Africa, for a weekend of observing, sharing and socializing.



mobile: 083 787 0792 (Ed)

mobile: 084 512 9866 (Lynnette)

mobile: 074 100 7237 (Auke)

AstroQuiz Champion

The reigning SSP AstroQuiz Champion is James Smith.

Observing Challenges

Challenge yourself! See how many selected deep sky objects you can observe while at the SSP.

Karin de Bruin and Pierre de Villiers earned Deep-sky Challenge badges at the Autumn 2016 SSP.

Alan Cassells has earned an ASSA Deep-Sky Certificate for his observations made during several SSPs.

Spring 2011 Challenge certificates were awarded to Pierre de Villiers, Andre de Villiers & Wim Filmalter.

Honourable Mentions go to Jaco Wiese and Henry Oliver for their observations during the Spring 2012 SSP. Congratulations!