The Starwaders CD - R50

Welcome to the Starwaders Constellation Jigsaw Puzzle CD

On this CD are not only jigsaw puzzles but also a selection of free astronomy programs, an album of beautiful astronomy images and several educational games and exercises. Follow these links to find more information.

This CD is a reduced version of the full website.

There is also the opportunity to buy the more advanced versions of the constellation puzzles. Back to top

Portable Solar System Model

Designed by an experienced amateur astronomer and in use for 10 years, the Portable Solar System Model (PSSM) is the perfect aid for the teacher in class or the presenter with an audience. Every astronomy club will benefit from owning a PSSM.

The PSSM overcomes the mental gymnasitics of standing on an apparently flat, level ground and having to relate to conventional maps where North is UP and to space where there is no UP. The PSSM can be rotated and tilted to allow students to grasp the relationship between their fixed 'Up-Down' local vantage point and the relative orientations in the real, wide world. Back to top

Galilean Telescope Kit

The Starwaders Galilean Telescope Kit builds a small telescope in the same style as the one built by Galileo in 1609 – over 400 years ago.

The Starwaders Telescope Building Kit provides all the parts and detailed instructions to build a telescope with 10 times magnification. Back to top

Constellation Jigsaw Puzzles

Building a puzzle where the pieces are in the shape of the constellations is the quickest way to remembering how the constellations fit together. This knowledge helps to quickly find your way about the night sky. Click on the link to find out more.

The equatorial puzzles on this CD are orientated for the southern hemisphere observer, i.e. the southern latitudes are on the upper side of the image.

To build these puzzles, simply follow this link to the Constellation Jigsaw Puzzle page. Back to top

Telescope Jigsaw Puzzles

Besides the constellation jigsaw puzzles, there are also two Starwaders telescope puzzles - a Newtonian and a Refractor. The puzzle pieces are the parts of the telescope. This helps a beginner learn how a telescope works. Click on the link to find out more.

To build these puzzles, simply follow this link to the Telescope Jigsaw page. Back to top


Astronomy Programs

Practice and Learn astronomy on your computer.

Stellarium Computer Planetarium (

Stellarium is a free open source planetarium for your computer. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope. It is being used in planetarium projectors. Just set your coordinates and go.

This very latest version 0.10.3 for Windows was released on 29 January 2010 and the installation file for Windows on this CD saves you a 44 megabyte download.

Simply click on the "Install Stellarium" button on the Starwaders CD Menu (which autoruns when inserting the CD) or browse to the >x:\Programs\Stellarium Computer Planetarium folder and run the stellarium-0.10.3.exe installation file. The folder also contains a help guide in the pdf format.

The Virtual Moon Atlas (

This software for Lunar observation and survey lets you visualize the real Moon as it is at any moment. Study lunar formations using the feature database and the pictures library. This is the latest version "Pro" 5 released in December 2009. The installation file for Windows is on this CD and saves you a 90 megabyte download.
  • Dynamic shadows on terminator used with the phases display
  • Coordinate grid system with setup
  • Possible lunar poles flyby
  • 2 new very high resolution textures
  • 14 new colour scientific overlays
  • Third scientific database about lunar domes
  • More than 3000 new pictures from consolidated lunar atlas
  • More than 150 new pictures from the Japanese probe Kaguya

Simply click on the "Virtual Moon " button on the Starwaders CD Menu (which autoruns when inserting the CD) or browse to the >x:\Programs\The Virtual Moon Atlas folder\ and run the vmapro5.exe installation file.

JupSat Pro - Jupiters Moons (

Jupsat Pro is a utility for Windows PCs which provides a range of information on Jupiter and graphically displays the planet (including its Great Red Spot) and the positions of its four main satellites, Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto (in real time). Back to top

Picture Show

The universe when viewed through some of the worlds largest telescopes provides breathtaking views. There are over 200 images on this CD. A slideshow runs automatically simply by clicking on the "Picture Show " button on the Starwaders CD Menu (which autoruns when inserting the CD). Or - browse to the x:\Picture Show folder and run the Start.exe file. Or - use your own image browser to wander through the gallery.

Included on the CD is the image viewer used on this CD called FreeVimager ( The installation file is in the x:\Programs\Free Picture Viewer\ folder if you wish to install it on your computer.

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Interactive Science Simulations

PhET stands for the Physics Education Technology and is a project of the University of Colorado. They have generated a collection of interactive simulations that demonstrate science principles on the computer.

Interactive Simulations is an ongoing effort to provide an extensive suite of simulations to improve the way that physics, chemistry, biology, earth science and math are taught and learned.   The simulations are interactive tools that enable students to make connections between real life phenomena and the underlying science which explains such phenomena.  Our team of scientists, software engineers and science educators use a research-based approach – incorporating findings from prior research and our own testing – to create simulations that support student engagement with and understanding of scientific concepts.

In order to help students visually comprehend these concepts, PhET simulations animate what is invisible to the eye through the use of graphics and intuitive controls such as click-and-drag manipulation, sliders and radio buttons.  In order to further encourage quantitative exploration, the simulations also offer measurement instruments including rulers, stop-watches, voltmeters and thermometers.  As the user manipulates these interactive tools, responses are immediately animated thus effectively illustrating cause-and-effects relationships as well as multiple linked representations (motion of the objects, graphs, number readouts, etc…).

To ensure educational effectiveness and usability, all of the simulations are extensively tested and evaluated.  These tests include student interviews in addition to actual utilization of the simulations in a variety of settings, including lectures, group work, homework and lab work. 

All PhET simulations are freely available from the PhET website and are easy to use and incorporate into the classroom. They are written in Java and Flash , and can be run using a standard web browser as long as Flash and Java are installed.

Simulations include:

Alpha Decay, Arithmetic, Atomic Interactions, Balloons & Buoyancy, Balloons and Static Electricity, Band Structure, Battery Voltage, Battery-Resistor Circuit, Beta Decay, Blackbody Spectrum, Calculus Grapher, Charges and Fields, Circuit Construction Kit (AC+DC), Circuit Construction Kit (DC Only), Color Vision, Conductivity, Curve Fitting, Davisson-Germer: Electron Diffraction, Double Wells and Covalent Bonds, Eating & Exercise, Electric Field Hockey, Electric Field of Dreams, Energy Skate Park, Equation Grapher, Estimation, Faraday's Electromagnetic Lab, Faraday's Law, Forces in 1 Dimension, Fourier: Making Waves, Friction, Gas Properties, Generator, Geometric Optics, Glaciers, Gravity Force Lab, The Greenhouse Effect, John Travoltage, Ladybug Motion 2D, Ladybug Revolution, Lasers, Lunar Lander, Magnet and Compass, Magnets and Electromagnets, Masses & Springs, Maze Game, Microwaves, Models of the Hydrogen Atom, Molecular Motors, Motion in 2D, The Moving Man, My Solar System, Natural Selection, Neon Lights and Other Discharge Lamps, Nuclear Fission, Ohm's Law, Optical Quantum Control, Optical Tweezers and Applications, Pendulum Lab, pH Scale, Photoelectric Effect, Plinko Probability, Projectile Motion, Quantum Bound States, Quantum Tunneling and Wave Packets, Quantum Wave Interference, Radio Waves & Electromagnetic Fields, Radioactive Dating Game, The Ramp, Reactions & Rates, Resistance in a Wire, Reversible Reactions, Rutherford Scattering, Salts & Solubility, Self-Driven Particle Model, Semiconductors, Signal Circuit, Simplified MRI, Sound, States of Matter, Stern-Gerlach Experiment, Stretching DNA, Torque, Vector Addition, Wave Interference, Wave on a String.

Install the full package from the Starwaders CD by navigating to Free Stuff | Educational | Interactive Science Simulations on the CD startup menu. A few of the simulations can be run without installing the full package - click on the Sample Simulations menu button.

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The ESO Astronomy Exercise Series - Student Exercises in Astronomy using observations from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and the ESO telescopes. ESO is the European Southern Observatory. Learn more about magnitudes, colours and distances. Click on the link or find the pdf at x:\Educational Material\The ESO Astronomy Exercise Series.pdf

Board Game The Solar System - Print this image and play a board game through the Solar System

Solar System Ruler - print this image and paste it on both sides of a stiff piece of cardboard or plastic and cut around the edges to make a ruler which shows the planets (including Pluto), their light distance away and the relative distances of planets form the Sun.

The Universe Poster - A lovely poster if you can print it big enough. Easy to browse on screen from your house to the farthest known regions of the universe.

Build a Southern Hemisphere Planisphere - Follow the instructions and build your own planisphere, designed for latitudes 20 to 30 degrees south.

The Electromagnetic Spectrum - Another informative poster. Learn about the electromagnetic spectrum and how radio telescopes work.

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Interesting Internet Resources See demo program in the Astronomy Programs section - astronomy news - The web presence of the famous magazine - a free online information portal which provides reference information and interactive features for over 900,000 topics. The content provided on is aggregated from a variety of content providers. - for those nights when viewing is clouded out, browse this site to hear what others are doing and seeing. sky - an online planetarium - a personal astronomy website - quick online star charts of areas of the sky that you specify - what's up - satellites and planets and comets - The WorldWide Telescope (WWT) is a Web 2.0 visualization software environment that enables your computer to function as a virtual telescope—bringing together imagery from the best ground and space-based telescopes in the world for a seamless exploration of the universe. - Global Telescope Network - What is happening in space? - An online ramble through the universe - How Dark is your Sky? - Science from NASA - What is NASA doing?


South African Websites - The Telescope Shop - Technopro for telescopes - Telescope SA for telescopes - Educational scientific kits - Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory - telescope and Astronomy Expo - The South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) - The Astronomical Society of Southern Africa - The Pretoria Centre of the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa - The Bloemfontein Centre of the The Astronomical Society of Southern Africa - The Cape Centre of the The Astronomical Society of Southern Africa - The Durban Centre of the The Astronomical Society of Southern Africa - The Harare Centre of the The Astronomical Society of Southern Africa - The Hermanus Centre of the The Astronomical Society of Southern Africa - The Johannesburg Centre of the The Astronomical Society of Southern Africa




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