One of the Scottish counties in the Highlands of Scotland, covering the areas of Dornoch, Helmsdale, Brora, Golspie, Lairg, Durness, and Tongue. Castles, mountains and lochs.

Sutherland is also a mainly farming town in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. It is located in the Karoo in the south western part of South Africa approximately 1700 meters above sea level and about 370km North East of Cape Town. The town has a population of approximately 2000 people and has a beautiful sandstone church hall.

The weather in Sutherland lends itself towards clear skies with a low dust content and low light pollution, making it ideal for astronomy. Unluckily the clear skies also make it the coldest place in South Africa with temperatures sometimes reaching -20°C and with winds of above 100kmph. (When I recently went up to Sutherland during spring time there was actually still some snow on the ground.)

In 1970 the South African Astronomical Observatory moved most of its major telescopes to a site 10km outside Sutherland. This site will now host the Southern Africa Large Telescope, the largest telescope in the southern hemisphere.

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