ASSA to break astronomical world record

Queensburgh resident, Natasha Cherry, preparing for the big historical event.

THE Astronomical Society of Southern Africa (ASSA) is attempting to break a Guinness World Record on Friday,18 August at the Durban Botanic Gardens.

More than 2 000 people will attempt to break a world record for the largest number of star-gazers assembled in one place to watch the stars together.

The current record holder is the Canberra Astronomical Society at the Mount Stromlo Observatory in Australia with 1869 people.

ASSA Media Director, Logan Govender, is confident that Durban has the potential to break that record.

“From the support we get from the Durban public for our other events, I feel we have good reason to believe that we will break the record,” he said.

This is an attempt to show people how easy it is to find their way around the sky.

ASSA has a method of teaching people to identify 200 night-sky objects in just 40 minutes.

“We would like to change the belief that astronomy is the preserve of scientists and mathematicians and will have a number of telescopes, each focussed on a different object”.

The public is invited spread out a blanket on the lawns of the garden, bring food and drink and enjoy this spectacle in safety.

It is important to bring along a pair of binoculars to be included in the count. Telescopes, spotting scopes, cameras with telephoto lenses, opera glasses, even toy binoculars will also be accepted.

The event will begin soon after sunset and the official count, which is expected to be recorded by television, radio and the print media, will start at 7.30pm.

“Please join us and become a part of history,” Govender said.

Ample secure parking has been arranged.


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Khethukuthula Lembethe-Xulu

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