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.
November Skymap 2021
As Scorpius (scorpion) makes its final appearance low in the west, look to the east to welcome back Orion (hunter) as it reappears in our evening skies. In Greek mythology, the mighty hunter Orion bragged he could defeat all animals. Not impressed, Gaia (goddess of Earth) sent the wily Scorpius to battle him who, in the ensuing battle, eventually defeated Orion. Both constellations were honoured with a place in the night skies, but on opposite sides of our celestial sphere – forever chasing each other across the night skies.
Towards the north, search for the Great Square of stars belonging to Pegasus (winged horse). One of our neighbouring galaxies, Andromeda, lies just below the stars in the horse’s back leg (requires dark conditions to see). November is also the ideal time to observe three naked-eye galaxies in one sitting, including the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds in the south.
The Moon will be in our evening skies from 5 to 24 November, with Full Moon (the ‘Milk Moon’, see cfah.org.za/fullmoon/ for more details) on 19 November. In the early evening, keep an eye out for the brilliantly bright Venus (in Sagittarius, archer) as well as Saturn and Jupiter (both in Capricornus, sea-goat, near to Zenith/overhead). The Moon appears to make a close approach to Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter on 8, 10, and 11 November respectively.
Download the November Sky Map HERE