A nice observing night @Honsem

We spent a night under the stars at the war relict site in Honsem, which is a fine observation spot. Almost 360° horizon, with an SQM around 20,45 last night, some moisture in the air.

Light domes from mainly Leuven & Brussels (North, Northwest), Tienen (East) and surprisingly also Hoegaarden (SouthEast). But a large dark area almost to the horizon in the South.

With my Zeiss Conquest HD 8×42 it was easy to locate many Messier objects, like M101, M51, M15, M13, M93, M16, M8, M11, M27. the western Veil was difficult but noticeable.

With the 20″ Dobsonian we observed sprial arms of M101, M51, a nice little globular in Virgo, a planetary in Hercules and the showcase objects in the Sagittarius cloud: Pillars of Creation, Swan, Lagoon, Trifid. The amount of detail and dark lanes was amazing.

More pictures to come !

(Click for a larger view)

Jef De Wit observing
Alexis Cousin observing at the 20″ Dobsonian
Starry starry night
Startrails this night
South Horizon Honsem 24 May 2022
South Horizon with the brewery lights far left. The two small dots are recently installed solar street lights.
Alex in action with the 50cm Dobsonian
Scorpius 6x8s ISO800 from a tripod, 50mm F2

Observing at Honsem war relict site

Close to my home, an historical site of the WWII air base of Belgium’s Beauvechain has been renovated and opened to the public. It concerns one of the (many) concrete platforms that served as an open parking lot for fighter planes. The planes could be tied down to concrete blocks and covered with camouflage nets.

Our local astronomy club – VVS Capella – requested for this site also to be used as an observing platform. It is located in the fields and offers a wide open view – 360 degrees unobstructed.

On Friday and Saturday March 11 & 12 we did some observing from the site.

Some impressions:

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