The first Stargazing Picnic of the year will take place on Saturday 17 January 2015 at the Afrikaanse Taalmonument on Paarl Mountain, weather permitting. These picnics are ideal for people who would like to discover the night skies with the help of the Orion Observation Group (OOG), an informal Boland stargazing club. Proceeds go to a good cause – the Taalmonument’s “Let’s Read” reading programme for children.
The theme for the evening is “The Summer Hunting Scene”. The picnic starts at 18:00. There will be a guided tour of the Monument at 18:30. From 20:00 to 22:30, visitors can look at stars, planets and satellites through telescopes under the guidance of OOG members.
Visitors are welcome to bring their own picnic baskets or they can order one from Volksmond Coffee Shop (tel. 021 863 2800). Volksmond will be open until 20:00 for coffee and light refreshments. No dogs or fires are allowed. Safe parking is available and access controls will be in place. Visitors are advised to bring along binoculars and warm clothes. They are invited to bring donations of new or second hand books to support the reading project.
The cost is R30 for adults and R10 for children. To book and for weather enquiries, call tel. 021 863 0543/4809 or 072 181 6744.
Stargazing Picnics will also take place on 21 February (theme: “Cosmic Matrimonial Dance”) and 21 March (“The Southern Cross and Nine Stars”).
A practical photography workshop will be presented at the Stargazing Picnic on 21 February at a cost of R450, including notes and light refreshments. Participants will learn to record star trails through time-exposure photography under the guidance of Peter Haarhoff of the Cape Photographic Company. The workshop is suitable for beginner and intermediate photographers and participants must bring their own digital or 35mm single lens reflex (SLR) cameras. Space is limited. Bookings can be made by contacting Amira Clayton at tel. 021 863 0543/4809 or email@example.com.