Howdii has constructed und built a 8" f/5 Photo-Newtonian. It took a while for finishing, however, now it's ready for use. This test showed no construction problem at all. Some minor fine-tuning and it'll be there. Read Howdii's First Light Report (July 2018, in German).
Howdii's first test of a ZW Optical ASI 120MC CMOS Camera: This is a mid-priced USB Camera for high-resolution Moon and Planets imaging, Autoguiding, and it comes with a 2.1mm 150° objectiv lens. Howdii and Andi imaged Jupiter with it on the C11 @ f/10 and tested also the quality of the 150° lens. Read Howdii's Report (July 2018, in German).
Howdii got a Geoptik Nadirus 16" Dob for a customer. He testet and tuned it. The structure is made of birch plywood with some beech wooden parts. It is compact sound and well dimensioned, and has an accectable weight for hauling it a few meters. The primary mirror is made of BK7 glass, and showed a quite fine visual performance. However, use of the vent on the backside of the mirrorbox is madatory to cool the primary mirror down. The movement was far too stiff, but Howdii's tuning attempts worked. Now it moves butterly smooth. Overall, despite some minor flaws it's worth the money. Read Howdii's Report (May 2018, in German).
Howdii got a TS Photoline 125/975 ED APO for a customer and testet it visually as well as photographycally (April 2018). The optics proved colorfree imaging and showed pinpoint like stars. It's a fine lens for visual observing and also for astrophotography. The 2,5" RPA focuser is improved. Andi, who supported Howdii during the test was also impressed by the performance of that ED APO. Read Howdii's Report (in German).
Howdii and Andi observed some springtime deep sky objects, mostly galaxies with the C11, near Niederleis. Read Howdii's Observation Report from April, 18th, in German.
Howdii and Andi watched and imaged NGC4151 Supernova2018aoq from April 6th up to April 18th 2018. They imaged this Supernova with a 125 ED Refractor. For observing Howdii used a C8 and for the re-observation with Andi a C11. Read Howdii's Report, in German.
Howdii watched (Mistelbach) and Andi photographed (Ladendorf) Venus and Mercury at dusk on March 8th and 21th 2018, respectively. Read Howdii's Observation Report, in German.
Walter used the fine weather during the October 2017 new moon period to capture IC5070, the Pelican Nebula from his backyard in Vienna with narrow-band filters: Hα, [OIII] and [SII]. He used five nights to capture the individual exposures and created a near-natural-color image using the narrow-band composites. See also the Hα version in black-and-white. He used his 4.9" f/3.8 Wright-Newtonian and a monochrome CCD to take all exposures. The Hα image shows labels of LBN and LDN objects on mouse-over.
Howdii and Andi found a neat sky at the Ebenwaldhöhe on October 16th, 2017. They used a Celestron C11 for visual observations. They watched several globular clusters and planetary nebulae, as well as some typical autumn sky highlights. Read Howdii's Observation Report about this night, in German.
Howdii got a new TS Photoline 115/800 Triplet APO for a customer and testet it visually as well as photographycally (September 2017). This new model features some less fancy details, however, still functional. The optics showed pinpoint stars across the field and a textbook-like star image at high power. Now Howdii has taken also an image with this scope, a quite fine test result for the sky conditions (moonlit sky and bad seeing). Read Howdii's Report (in German) about this telescope.
Howdii has taken an old second hand Bresser 203/900 Newtonian to forge a 200/880 Photo-Newtonian. The tube rings needed repair, most parts were modified or changed. The original Bresser main mirror had to be changed due to internal stress. The diagonal mirror was changed also in search for the bad astigmatism. The tube had to be shortened to accommodate the focal position of that excellent f/4.4 replacement mirror from an old weird Newtonian (found by blind luck). There was no chance to get a new good quality f/4.5 mirror. Howdii has written a Report about this endlessly seeing and also nearly unbelievable story (in German, September 2017.
Howdii has tested a Celestron C11 SC. The C11 is well know for its quality optics for years. This sample proved a smooth backlash-free and nearly shifting-free focuser as well as excellent optics. However, the focuser is a bit too coarse threaded for high power focusing. So, Howdii optimized the C11 by fitting an external Crayford style focuser. To get rid of thermal problems, he insulated the tube and put on a long self-made dew cap, what proved to work surprisingly well. Howdii has written a Test Report (in German, September 2017) about it.
Walter's son used a collection of night sky time lapse videos taken in 2014 and 2015 high up in the Alps of Salzburg and Carinthia to create a nice movie underlaid with music.
Howdii and Andi observed and imaged Supernova 2017ein in NGC 3938, during June 11 - 15, 2017. Howdii has seen this Supernova in a 4" Triplet APO, a 10" Dobsonian and a C8, Andi has seen it in the C8. For imaging they also used the C8 with an Astro Physics 0,67x Reducer. Read Howdii's Report in German).
After a long pause, Walter finally created a new astrophoto: The Iris Nebula in Cepheus, images taken with a 9.5" Newtonian and QHY8 CCD camera in September 2016 at the Wallackhaus, Carinthia. Photographic conditions were not perfect, thin Cirrus clouds partially obscured the field-of-view.
The TS Individual 102/1100 achromatic refractor is one of Howdii's favourite telescopes. He argued this model is as good as the legendary Zeiss AS 100/1000. On June 2, 2017, Howdii had the occasion to do a comparison of these two optics on an elusive target - Jupiter. Seeing was really good at this site. The views of Jupiter were great! And, the 102/1100 is really on par with the Zeiss AS 100/1000! The 102/1100 also did a respectable job compared to a Celestron 102/900 Fluorite lens. Read Howdii's Report (in German).
After some time of use and abuse by the owners Howdii got the 25" f/4.5 Dob back for servicing. In consecutive tests together with Andi he found some minor flaws to be fixed. Observing with this big aperture was no fun during some test sessions in early spring because of wind and bad seeing. However, on May 28, 2017 all went well - oh, wait a bit. Some glitches at the beginning. But for the rest of this test and observing session Howdii, together with Roland and Andi had a quite good sky and a lot of fun in the fields near Niederleis. They observed many late-spring objects. Read Howdii's Observation Report about this night (in German).
Howdii wrote an article (in German) about new city lights following the EU EED. He documented some of the old city lights of his hometown and also some new ones. His conclusion: We now have full-cutoff lights we desired so badly. However, they are too bright, especially LED lights. So, nothing is won.
Howdii and Andi imaged the recently discovered Supernova 2017eaw in NGC 6946, on May 18, 2017. They had to fight gusty wind and bad seeing, but somehow managed to get some useable images. Read Howdii's Report in German).
iOptron ieq45 Pro - Howdii got this mount for a customer and tested its performance. He subsequently wrote a Test Report (in German, April 2017) about this model and referred also to the evolution steps of the ieq45. Howdii found fine guiding performance on this sample, which he carefully documented. This model of the ieq45 Pro provides refined gearing and stepper motors, whereas formerly servo motors were used. This new model has a real time clock, so it's no longer needed to wait for the GPS satellite fix. A new and quite unique feature allows the mount to recover from power failure during the session. So one simply is able to continue the session without loosing position of the scope or star alignment. A rigid hard-wood tripod is highly recommended for this mount.
Howdii and Andi observed and imaged comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák during the last days of March, 2017. Read Howdii's Notes about this comet in German).
Howdii observed Mercury at dusk during the last days of March and first days of April, near Mistelbach. Read Howdii's Observation Report, in German.
Howdii delivered the EQ6-R mount to his customer and surprisingly, at this site was a pretty clear night. What else to do than put the mount on its stand and attach a telescope to it? Howdii wrote a short report (in German, Feb 27, 2017) about those observations. The telescope was well-known for him, it was his ex-presentation model of the Bresser 152/1200 achromatic refractor.
Skywatcher NEQ6-R SynScan - Howdii got this mount for a customer and tested its performance. He subsequently wrote a Test Report (in German, Feb./March 2017) about this revised model. Howdii found fine guiding performance on this sample but also a surprising detail, which he carefully documented, and generally attributes the NEQ6-R good characteristics and handling. This revised model is better in many respects than its venerable predecessor, the NEQ6. Like the NEQ6 the NEQ6-R is best mounted on a rigid hard-wood tripod.
Howdii tried to observe Pease 1 (a Planetary Nebula within the Globular Cluster M15) with his 5.7" f/6 Maksutov-Newtonian and, succeeded. It wasn't that hard as expected. So Howdii tried to do this with the 102/1100 Achromatic Refractor. What about it? It's more the problem to find the location of Pease 1 than to see this object with this 4" lens - well, for a very experienced observer. Read Howdii's Observation Report, in German.
After some observations with the Vixen VMC 260L Howdii returned this telescope to the owner. There they had a quite good sky and observed some deep sky objects near Ratten, Styria. Read Howdii's Observation Report, in German.
Howdii observed some deep sky objects during a moonlit night at the observatory site of the Leiserberge Sternwarte club near Klement/Au on August 13th, 2016. Read Howdii's Observation Report, in German.
Howdii and Andi observed the Perseids and caught some meteors photographycally on August 11th, 2016, near Mistelbach. Howdii again observed some Perseids near Klement/Au on August 13th, 2016. Read Howdii's Observation Report, in German.
After some visual observations with the Vixen VMC 260L Howdii was eager to do some astrophotography with it. But what mount for it, because of the long focal length of this scope. Fortunately, Howdii got also a Celestron CGE mount for testing, so there he went. Howdii and Andi used a quite dark sky at Mistelbach, however, seeing was only mediocre. Despite this, they managed to get the mount in guiding to image M57 and M27. Howdii has written a Test Report (in German, August 2016).
Howdii got an APM 140/980 Doublet SD-APO for a customer and testet it visually as well as photographically (July/August 2016). This scope features a retractable dew shield, a handle on top of the tube rings, a Losmandy style dovetail rail, a 2.5" RPA focuser and a mounting base for finder scopes. The optics shows pinpoint stars across the field and a nearly textbook-like star image at high power. There is a trace of pinching, and a bit of spherical aberration. The color correction is good for a lens of this size and type. Visually, bright stars show up in their true color, however, traces of red to blue are shimmering in the diffraction rings. Photographycally, bright stars do show some false color. There isn't enough clearance between dovetail rail and dew shield, so these two parts accidentally can get in contact what causes scratches on the back ring of the dew shield. This is annoying. The vendor has promised to solve this problem. Howdii wrote a Test Report, in German.
Howdii reobserved some of the objects of his last observing sessions and some other objects with an APM 140mm f/7 SD-Doublet Refractor on July 29th, 2016. He had a quite dark sky at the Oberleiser Berg. Read Howdii's Observation Report, in German.
Celestron Ultima 8. This 8" f/10 SC was produced from 1989 onward. It features a heavy-duty fork, and this sample was supplied with the heavy-duty wedge, however, PEC is not available on it. The Ultima 8 was well known for its stability and for its good optics, as well as for the accuracy of its RA drive. Howdii got this scope for inspection. Some parts were missing, and the RA drive did not work. He was lucky to supply the missing parts and could fix the drive electrics. The optics proved very good, and, as a surprise the collimation of the optics was spot on. The stability of the scope is ok, it shakes when bumped, but the vibration damping is good, about one second. Howdii wrote a Test Report, in German, July 2016.
For the fun of it Howdii reobserved some of the objects of his last observing session with a 102mm f/7 Triplet APO Refractor on July 10th, 2016. He chose the hill on the east of Mistelbach as observing site. The sky was quite good, however, not as good as last time at the Oberleiser Berg. Read Howdii's Observation Report, in German.
Howdii and Andi had a pretty good sky at the Oberleiser Berg on July 6th, 2016. Howdii used a Vixen VMC 260L Field-Maksutov telescope for visual deep sky observing, Andi did this with his Celestron 8" SCT. Howdii spotted some quite tough globular clusters and observed some planetary nebulae, as well as some typical summer sky highlights. Read Howdii's Observation Report about this night, in German.
Howdii has tested a Celestron C9.25 SC. The C9.25 is well know for good optics and lesser field curvature. This comes along with an increased tube length and a larger central obstruction, where the Fastar secondary locking ring adds some millimeters. However, this sample proved a smooth backlash-free and shifting-free focuser as well as excellent optics. Simply said, it's the best SC telescpoe Howdii has ever seen. Howdii has written a Test Report (in German) about it.
Howdii has tested a second-hand (in near mint condition) Lacerta 72/432 ED Refractor both visually and photographically (togehter with a 0.85x Reducer). This little Lacerta ED scope features a nice Octo 2" focuser. Visually, the performance is fine. There is only a bit false color and a trace of spherical undercorrection, nothing else. This lens is sharp. Photographically, it is capable of delivering nice wide field images. Howdii has written a Test Report (in German) about this telescope.
Howdii has tested a vintage second-hand Scopos 90/600 ED Triplet APO both visually and photographically (June 2016). Visually, the optics proved ok. The color correction is really good. There is some spherical undercorrection and a trace of pinching. However, nothing else. This lens will take some time to cool down. The Crayford-style focuser is a bit tricky, but can be tamed if carefully adjusted. Photographically, this triplet-lens is capable of delivering quite nice images. Howdii has written a Test Report (in German) about this telescope.
Howdii and Andi imaged Supernova 2016cok in M66 and Supernova 2016coj in NGC4125 via DSLR and CCD. They also tried to observe those Supernovae. SN 2016coj was quite easy to spot, but Howdii also succeeded to catch the faint Supernova 2016cok. They imaged also Mars via Webcam. They used three nights, on May 31, June 6 and 7, 2016, at and near Mistelbach. Read Howdii's Observation Report in German.
Howdii and Andi observed the transit of Mercury, the passage of this planet across the surface of the sun on May 9, 2016 near Ladendorf. They used Howdii's 100/800 Triplet APO for visual observing and afocal projection photography as well as Andi's 102/1000 achromatic Refractor for focal photography. Read Howdii's Observation Report in German.
Howdii and Andi attended the Weinviertel Teleskoptreffen near Klement/Au on May 6th and 7th, 2016. For those two nights they brought along four telescopes: Howdii's 5.7" f/6 Maksutov-Newtonian, a 102/1100 Refractor, a Vixen VMC 260L Field Maksutov and a 102/714 ED Refractor. They observed Jupiter, some Galaxies and some typical highlights for such an event. Read Howdii's Observation Report in German.
The Central Cygnus Region around the stars Deneb and Sadr is a prominent Milky Way area full of stars, light and dark nebulae, and many other objects. Photo taken with a modified Canon 350D and a zoom lens sent to 70mm during my Astro-Expedition to the Großglockner-Hochalpenstraße in September 2015.