The Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome is the most advanced digital planetarium on the African continent. This world class, multi-functional facility brings digital technology to Cape Town - creating a space of innovation and discovery - where art, science and entertainment meet.
The Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome not only provides an immersive multi-sensory edutainment platform for artistic production - it is also used for cutting-edge scientific research to optimise South Africa’s eResearch and data visualisation capacity.
The Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome makes virtual voyages of the universe possible, providing an unparalleled experience of animation and 360◦ cinema. Explore the inner workings of the human body, or the intricacies of an atomic structure Visit the most advanced digital planetarium on the African continent.
Iziko Museums of South Africa gratefully values and acknowledge the significant and on-going support of our partners in this innovative project.
Throughout the ages people all over the world have observed and named the stars in their skies. To catalogue and standardize the names of stars, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) established the Working Group on Star Names (WGNS). On June 2016 the name Achernar for the star Alpha Eridani A was approved and is now so entered in the IAU Catalogue of Star Names. It is the brighter of a pair of stars that appears as one, high above the South-eastern horizon in the constellation of Eridanus, which is represented as a river.
The name Achernar is derived from Arabic, meaning “The End of the River”. The bright star below Achernar is Canopus in Carina (Keel) and high in the northwest is Fomalhaut in Piscis Austrinus (Southern Fish). To the north is the constellation of Pegasus (Flying Horse) with four fairly bright stars forming the Great Square. The Hunter, Orion, with the three bright stars in his belt is making his appearance in the east while Scorpius (Scorpion) is setting in the west. The Southern Cross is low above the southern horizon. Planet Venus is visible in the evening sky as the bright evening star, passing from Ophiuchus into Sagittarius on 9 Nov. Planet Mars is visible in Capricornus.
January 2022 Skymap
The Gemini stars Castor and Pollux welcome us to the new year as they reappear in the early evening towards the north-east. From Auriga (Charioteer) in the north to the Southern Cross low in the south, the Milky Way unfurls itself across our eastern skies. Try identify all the stars of Eridanus (river) as it lies directly overhead, starting close to blue supergiant Rigel in Orion (hunter) and ending with bright star Achernar.
Two bright open star clusters, the Pleiades and Hyades, lie towards the north. The latter v-shaped stellar cluster, with bright star Aldebaran forms part of Taurus (bull). Further east, look out for the three distinctive 'belt' stars and red supergiant star Betelgeuse in Orion. In African star lore, Aldebaran’s hungry wives (Pleiades) sent him to hunt down three zebras (Orion’s belt). Using his bow and single arrow, he foolishly missed but was unable to retrieve it due to a nearby fearsome lion (Betelgeuse). Aldebaran now sits in Taurus, caught between the lion and his angry wives back home.
The moon will be in the evening sky from 3 until 24 January, with Full Moon (‘Mantis Moon’, see cfah.org.za/fullmoon/ for more details) on 17 January. Just after sunset in the west, the moon will appear close to Saturn on 4 January, and then close to Jupiter on 5/6 January. It also appears close to Mars and Venus just before sunrise on 29/30 January.
Download the January Sky Map HERE