Sun weekly


This dynamic active region, which has already popped off 12 in just two days (Oct. 8-10, 2012), is rotating into view..





This art [astronomy]which is as it were the head of all the liberal arts and the one most worthy of a free man leans upon nearly all the other branches of mathematics. Arithmetic, geometry, optics, geodesy, mechanics, and whatever others, all offer themselves in its service.


Nicolaus Copernicus, Introduction to De Revoluntionibus, 1543.



Visit related pages:




Contact us

Buy online Celestron, TAL, INTES Telescopes, Imaging Equipment, Accessories and much more!

Best quality, best prices, best technical support


Comet C/2009 P1 Garradd

Links to other interesting South African web sites
Andromeda Galaxy or Great Nebula in Andromeda M31, accompanied by M32 and M110 is occupying an apparent angle of 3.18° low above Northern horizon, reaching maximum altitude in mid. 20-th degrees as seen from South Africa. It's low altitude makes it very challenging object to photograph, but the final result is worth it. Although most of it's outer features have been stripped by a thick layer of Earth's atmosphere, the structure is still visible in this unguided 3-minute long exposure.

FOTON AstroCam V1:

More AstroCam images








In early hours of November 29, 2012 occultation of Jupiter by the Moon could be observed from South Africa for a second time in one month. Wens Coetzer had a wonderful night at his observatory under clear sky.

Wens writes: " It was a perfect early morning - no wind and no cloud although the relative humidity was 80%.. The cherry on top was seeing Saturn, Venus and Mercury 30 minutes before dawn"



For more images visit Jupiter page



November 29, Moon rising over Michelangelo Hotel, Sandton

November Full Moon rising over Sandton city:







The sky on the evening of 1 November looked very promising in Johannesburg area; the equipment had been set-up and tested for the imaging of a very special celestial event- Occultation of Jupiter by the Moon. This time it was also very special, because before, during and after the occultation the Great Red Spot would transit the Earth-facing surface of Jupiter, making it a very beautiful sight. Also, it was observable only from the tip of Southern Africa.




For more images visit my Jupiter Gallery page



15 minutes-long gap between the clouds was just enough for October Full Moon to rise above the largest man-made forest in the world. October is the time for spring thunder storms and Jacaranda trees blossom in the Gauteng province of South Africa.






One evening during my visit to a friend on the farm in Waterberg I have set-up the equipment for deep sky photography, aimed at Leo Triplet and noticed a bright satellite slowly sailing between the stars and galaxies. First 30 second exposure showed another, fast moving satellite crossing the field of view. That wasn't the end! During following several attempts to produce a neat single frame image I have finally decided that it might be a better idea just to try wide field and see what is going on up there. A single 30 seconds frame captured several satellites in approximately 6 degrees diagonally FOV! The image shows at least 4 moving satellites / objects and 5 bright galaxies . The angular separation between two bright stars in upper left and lower right corners is approximately 5º 26'. The full 6.5 MB GIF animation covering 8 minutes period with a number of visible moving satellites can be downloaded from HERE or by clicking on the image.

How many objects can you count?






Archive image: Earlier in the year THE PARLOTONES performed at series of live concerts in downtown Johannesburg. Watch the full video HERE










ATV-3 finally undocks from the ISS following eventful stay.

Read and watch more at

The image below is a collage of two images. It shows NASA's ATV-3 Cargo Space ship and the ISS during their pass over South Africa next Earth day after undocking. ATV-3 was over 2 minuted ahead of the ISS.











Just days before 2012 Transit of Venus:



My latest "Caught in Transit" image. It took the helicopter just 1 second to transit across the lunar disc, but what a view!






16 April 2012

Saturn was at closest distance from Earth for this year. The image is very similar to what it looks like through an 8" telescope

Large Image


22 March 2012

Venus made spectacular appearances next to M45 or "The Pleades", also know as Seven Sisters during early evenings of 2-4 April. In the top left corner of the image there is also a bright flare from an Iridium Satellite.

Large Image


22 March 2012

Orion nebula (M42) together with De Mairan's Nebula (M43). My latest attempt to show the whole region of the Sword of Orion. Image was produced by blending 7 images and by applying only minor adjustments of levels, saturation and contrast to the final image.

Large Image


24 February 2012

Mars at it's opposition during February 2012. Imaged through an 8" telescope and Canon DSLR camera.

Large Image


07 February 2012

The rise of Full Moon on Feb 7 2012 was covered by the clouds over Johannesburg, but a bit of creativity helped to re-create the event couple of hours later, when clouds have almost disappeared. The bright dot in the center of globe must be reflection from the Sun :-) For more fun pictures of the Moon go to "The Moon" page.

For more images go to "The Moon" page


02 February 2012

The International Space Station as seen from Johannesburg.

Large image


Update: 30 January 2012

A 40 seconds exposure produces a unique and unpredictable autograph-like graphics. Intrigued? Find out about how Comet Lovejoy was photographed from an ocean cruise liner. Click here: COMET LOVEJOY PAGE


22 January 2012

Another rocket fuel dump has been captured! This time it is from Sutherland, South Africa, by Willie Koorts, who writes: "I was alerted by a group of enthusiasts, who specialize in tracking down launches, that I may be able to spot the fuel dump of the Delta 4 WGS 4 satellite launch from Sutherland, even though it is nearly 12,000km away. Unfortunately it meant getting up at 03h00 local time, but the view was worth it! I managed to track the cloud of fuel to ~20,000km, then only 2.6 degrees above my local horizon from SAAO Sutherland. Around 03h40, I noticed a bright blob to the left and below the Moon, in between the cloud layers!  Now, checking the camera's display as every new picture appeared, it was seen to be slowly moving!  So, this was where I was hijacked since I continued shooting until ~04h00 by which time it disappeared into the cloud, but dimmed substantially as well."

Large image



January 2012

Welcome to 2012 web site - your prime source of astronomical news and images from Southern Africa! As always, we are looking forward to all the surprises the universe has for us and to your astro-images. Big THANK YOU to all our visitors and to everyone, who provided us with unique material for this web site during 2009-2011 period, it's been a wonderful journey, let's see what is waiting for us in 2012.. This is a very special year, which promises us a lot of "out of this world". Maybe good place to start is here: ?

Sunset over the Indian ocean, as was seen from aboard of an ocean cruise liner:

Comet Lovejoy photographed from an ocean cruise liner. Click here: COMET LOVEJOY PAGE


Contact us

Copyright(C) 2008-2012. All rights reserved by FOTON Optoelectronics. Unless otherwise indicated, the logos, images and text contained within the pages of this site are the property of FOTON Optoelectronics and may not be used without permission.