For this project I mainly use my 16" Newtonian on Alt/Az. mounting ("Dobsonian",
though I fear, John Dobson wouldn't call it that way, because the mirror
is expensive and the design is quite tricky). Older observations were done
with the "Bleiente", a none-imaging 8" f/5.6 Dobsonian.
The 16" has a focal length of 2m, that's a focal ratio f/5. Given a solid
ground (like concrete or thelike) one can observe with magnifications up
to 670x without problems. The following set of eyepieces are in my box:
33mm "Zeiss" - actually I'm not so sure about that, but it's what the dealer
said and it performs good. But to cheap for a real Zeiss, hehe :-)
22mm Leica - (62°)
14mm Leica - (65°) A hell of an eyepiece, especially for that money.
Tele-Optic will bring it to you !
9mm Nagler - I like that one, though some people have problems with the
distance of the exit pupil.
5mm Pentax - despite it's shitty housing (sorry Giovanni :-) it's a great
3mm Radian - I just own it since early 2000. It performed exorbitantly
on Hind's Variable, so it was a "must".
A word about the starcharts I used.
Actually they were printed with Guide 7 from Project
Pluto. The famous Uranometria served as an overview chart, the Deep
Sky Field Guide partially as a data source. Both books are of great value
- but not for this project, because (clearly) only a few of the objects
are covered. But ain't it nice, that we're able to go beyond limits with
16" and a modest sky ?
Guide was backed up by the "Deep Sky Survey" Online catalog, "NASA
Extragalactic Database (NED)" and the "LEDA".
For the objects that I added April 2002 I was able to use the new program
Guide8. All I can say is that the galaxy catalogues improved drastically!
I'm living in Wetzlar, Germany.
This is a 50,000 inhabitants town 50 km north of Frankfurt am Main
and 15 km west of Giessen (80,000).
Basically there are five places which I used during these nights:
When I was younger I couldn't drive so much and sometimes during summer
I didn't want to do this in the middle of the night. So, in 1996 I used
this site. It's south of the city center, which results in a astoundingly
good sight. Fst 5.8mag is not seldom.
is a small village north of the line Wetzlar-Giessen. It's some 350m above
sealevel and shows a rather good sky, mostly 5.8mag or better.
is just south of the connection between Wetzlar and Giessen. I use this
site, whenever want reduce the time for driving. During the summer of 1999
I was quite often there and was surprised to have skies better than 6.2
mag in several nights.
is nearly 500m above sealevel. I'm seldom there. But IC 1296 was confirmed
during the night 11th to 12th Septembre 1999 while being there. Due to
the long distance to bigger cities skies around 6.5 or better are not to
is south of Wetzlar and elevated around 400m. It's the best choice between
good skies and short driving (17 min.). The southern horizon suffers from
Frankfurts light pollution (especially, when the air is wet), but that's
it. I've had a lot of great nights there !
||(c) 2002, Frank Leiter