Observations - Hints



Worthwhile Regions of the Sky




Last update: 2018-11-18


- About me & my equipment -


Nikon Action EX 8x40 CF

I bought this binoculars in May 2014 after long researches to be more flexible for spontaneous observations. With a true field of view of about 7.5°, a moderate weight (about 900g) and very good optical performance it is a pleasure to explore the sky. I was surprised, what this quite small aperture can show even under urban skies.

Refractor 55/500mm

In May 2018 I could buy a lens (55/500mm) on the astronomical second-hand market, which was in very good condition. A friend donated me the tube incl. focuser, tube rings and dovetail bar of an old refractor (70/700mm) and I built a new refractor from it. The focuser is completely made of plastic, but serves its purpose. With a total weight of about 1kg (incl. diagonal prism) the refractor is also quite light. The origin of the lens is unknown, but Tele Vue is suspected.

Initial observations were very convincing. Jupiter appeared sharp and rich in contrast at 80x magnification and offered some larger structures in the cloud bands. The GRS is easy to see. Even the rather small moon shadow of Europa is recognizable with this refractor. The observation of double stars is also particularly aesthetic.

Vixen ED70SS

This small ED refractor I bought in September 2017 on a star party. Weight, size and especially the optical quality convinced me. Besides the 120mm refractor, this is currently the most used telescope.

80/500mm FH on Vixen Porta with wooden tripod

On detours this small achromat came to me, which is mounted on a Vixen Porta with heavy tripod. The achromat was lovingly named "Astrofaust" (astro-fist) by its former owner. I mainly use this refractor for observing deep sky objects from the city. Especially open clusters and carbon stars are the main targets.
This refractor was made by an amateur long time ago, whereby a can is used for the lens, water pipes for the tube und diverse adapters for using 1.25 inch equipment. For focussing an old camera lens was exploited. Or you simply shift the water pipes.

Update (2016-08-01): The "Astrofaust" got a new, selfmade tube, based on water pipes of course, and a new 1.25 inch focuser including finder base. The optics were cleaned and astigmatism & coma was reduced as best I could.

114/900mm Newtonian on Vixen Porta with wooden tripod

This small Newtonian was my first telescope and was sold by Dörr Danubia under the name Saturn 45. Since 2006 I took more care of this quite good telescope, which is used mainly for observing planets from the city. The tube was coated with velour and insulated with wallpaper for radiators. The cheap 5x24 finder scope (made of plastic including the lens!) was replaced by a Rigel Quickfinder. The simple 1.25 inch focuser had to make room for a solid 2 inch focuser, so that I reached at least 2.4° of true field of view and also could use my 2 inch filters from Lumicon. Additionally I mounted a fan for the primary mirror to cool it down quickly.
I bought this Newtonian on an EQ2 mount with a wooden tripod. But this combination was too unsteady. In April 2012 I made a pipe mount of 2 inch fittings and a more or less heavy wooden tripod. Regarding to mobility I went over the target, but it works really good. The total weight of about 25kg is open to question ;-) That's why I made a quite small rockerbox for the Newtonian and I was happy with that. However I decided to mount this Newtonian on a Vixen Porta, which also works quite well for me.

120/600mm Refractor on Vixen Porta with wooden tripod

I got this short focal length refractor at the beginning of 2016 from my friend Uwe Pilz. It will be used besides the 80mm refractor as the main telescope for Deepsky from the city.

8 inch f/6 Dobsonian

This classic Newtonian from Skywatcher I got in September 2011 at a star party from Rene Merting, one of my best friends and a very active visual astronomer. Since that time this is my main telescope under dark skies. Especially faint objects are the main target for this telescope, where it performs well for me. The first owner did some modifications: tube insulation, velour coating, smaller secondary mirror and tube extension and changes to the altitude bearings.
The magnets are for balancing but are also good for holding star charts.


Eyepieces & Filters

My eyepiece collection can be easily divided into two groups: Some simple wide field eyepieces (mainly Erfle design) and good orthos. The orthos I use mainly when I need maximum contrast and good control of scattered light. Especially when observing very faint objects near brighter stars this can make the difference. Also the narrow field of view can help with focusing better on the object. For planets the orthos are a must. The 2 inch nebula filters (UHC, O-III, HBeta) are all from Lumicon and were bought secondhand.
The eyepieces are transported in rotary cases in a cheap notebook bag, which can be well stored in a backpack. The often used classic eyepiece cases are too bulky for me.

Star Charts & Red Light