Sparkling 47 Tucanae visible in the south during Stargazing Picnic

It’s a new year, so it’s high time that Capetonians and visitors get to know the glittering starry sky – specifically the sparkling globular star cluster 47 Tucanae – during the Afrikaans Language Museum and Monument’s stargazing picnic on Paarlberg on Saturday, 29 January 2022. It promises to once again be a festive evening in the beautiful setting; in addition, a spectacular sunset and visit to the iconic sculpture is included, and the event is in aid of a good cause.

Visitors can explore the galaxy with the help of the Orion Observation Group (OOG) whose friendly members like to share their knowledge and telescopes for free. The focus is on 47 Tucanae, the universe’s second brightest globular star cluster that is beautifully visible in the south.

The picnics are popular with locals and overseas visitors who especially enjoy the beautiful views of the valleys, mountains and peninsula. Guests are welcome to bring their own picnic and drinks (no glass). Safe parking is available and entry is controlled. Please remember binoculars, warm clothing and masks. Visitors are encouraged to explore the area, and there are outdoor games and playgrounds for the children. The picnic series is in aid of ‘Let’s Read!’, the Taalmonument’s literacy project for children, and therefore picnic-goers are invited to donate new or second-hand children’s books in support of this project.

The event starts at 18:00 where-after visitors can stare into the skies from 20:00 to 22:30. The entrance fee is R50 per adult and R10 for under-18s; tickets are available at Computicket or the gate, but booking (021 863 0543/4809 or kommunikasie@taalmuseum.co.za) is essential to ensure sufficient telescopes. Unfortunately, Stargazing picnics will be cancelled if the weather doesn’t play along – call 073 853 3100 or 083 544 6510 for weather inquiries on the day itself. Pre-bought tickets can be transferred or reimbursed. The next Stargazing Picnics are on 26 February and 26 March.

For more information on all the other exciting events, concerts and courses at the Taalmonument, call 021 872 3441/863 0543, visit www.taalmonument.co.za or follow them on Facebook. The website also offers virtual tours of the monument and museum, information in six languages on the symbolism of the Taalmonument as well as many interesting articles on Afrikaans, multilingualism and the institution’s past, present and future. There are also many resources for school and research projects. THE LANGUAGE MONUMENT AND LANGUAGE MUSEUM ARE OPEN TO VISITORS. Annual permits are available at R120 for individuals or R220 per family, which includes access to all Full Moon Picnics.