#LoveSA: Join fellow 'Durbanites' in an attempt to break a world stargazing record

2017-08-17 13:58 - Unathi Nkanjeni
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Picture: iStock

Cape Town - If you believe in shooting stars rather than shoes and cars, well then best you join the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa (ASSA) Durban as they aim to for the stars with a new world record, come Friday, 18 August.

The currently global stargazing record is held by Australia’s Canberra Astronomical Society when they gathered together 1 868 people in 2015. 

As a result more than 2 000 people will attempt to break a world record for the largest number of stargazers assembled in one place - Durban’s Botanic Gardens at 19:30. 

SEE: SA Insider: Durban in August

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,” says Govender. "

ASSA has a method of teaching people to identify 200 night-sky objects in just 40 minutes and this is an attempt to show people how easy it is to find their way around the sky.

According to ASSA, the purpose of this initiative is also to change the belief that astronomy is the preserve of scientists and mathematicians.

So if you are just like Kanye West and believe in shooting starts then you are invited to come spread out your blankets on the lawns of the garden, bring food and drink and enjoy this spectacle in a safe and secure environment.

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 and 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 19:30.