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.
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.