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Infographic: Astronomy Highlights in Spring 2021

February 26 2021, Marcus Schenk

A visit to the Pleiades, a very bright minor planet and a superbly-visible Mercury in the evening sky. There’s lots to look forward to the astronomical spring, because it has plenty to offer.

In the infographic Astronomy Highlights in Spring 2021, you have an overview of the important celestial events for the next three months.

We wish you lots of observing pleasure!

March

4/3 Mars near the Pleiades (Golden Gate of the Ecliptic)

Mars was in opposition last year and was visible in the starry evening sky. It still gleams in the night sky, disappearing ever more from the picture, along with the winter constellations. Around 4 March it nears the Pleiades at a distance of about 2 degrees. In doing so, the god of war also passes through the Golden Gate of the Ecliptic. This is the name of the area between the Hyades and the Pleiades, through which the ecliptic takes its course.

4/3 Vesta at opposition

Vesta is a goddess in Roman mythology but also the name of a well-known minor planet. With a diameter of 520 kilometres, it is the second largest in the asteroid belt.  While at opposition, it can sometimes be distinguished with the naked eye. Currently, at mag. 5.8 – 6.0, it is just beyond the visibility of the naked eye. However, it is easy to see with binoculars or a telescope. So how about observing a minor planet? That would make a very special star-gazing evening. What’s more, you can easily find Vesta in the rear part of the constellation Leo. From star Theta Leonis (the hind leg of the lion), just one degree to the northeast – et voilà.

5/3 Mercury near Jupiter

A difficult encounter: Mercury and Jupiter are near one another, but they are not easy to track. When both become visible, it will be shortly before 6:00am and the Sun will be just 8 degrees below the horizon. The time window is short and you need a clear view of the horizon as the two planets approach with a separation of just 0.3 degrees.

10/3 the Moon nears Jupiter and Saturn

Just before dawn for early risers: several objects gather together over the south-eastern horizon this morning. Almost as if they were on a diagonal pearl necklace, you will discover Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn. The delicate crescent Moon frames this meeting of the planets, and turns the morning into a wonderful astronomical event.

16/3 the Moon nears Uranus

In the evening hours we see the waxing crescent Moon between the constellations Cetus and Pisces. If you like, you can make a detour from here with your telescope, to the distant planet Uranus. Because today it is just 6 degrees above the Earth’s satellite. Uranus is always worth a look, because it is not a standard object, such as Saturn or Jupiter. As a distant planet, even in a telescope it is just a small disc which, if you look closely, is clearly different from a star. Nevertheless, it makes sense to familiarise yourself with the exact position on a star chart before observing.

18/3 Mars nears u Tauri

A few days ago, Mars moved through the Golden Gate of the Ecliptic, past the Pleiades. Today it stops at u Tauri in the constellation of Taurus, at a star that is a member of the Hyades. This is a pulsating star, which changes its luminosity within a few days. If you scan through this area with binoculars, you will notice a pattern made up of many stars. This is an asterism, a pattern-like group of stars. It’s called Davis’ Dog and depicts a dog with a nose, eyes, ears, legs and tail. Although some people see it as a fox. What do you see?

April

1/4 Antares nears the Moon

During the night from 1 – 2 April, the Moon approaches the brightest star in Scorpius: Antares. It is a red supergiant and shines brightly and red-hued in the night sky. Its diameter is 700 times greater than that of our Sun and it would swallow some planets, including our Earth, if it were to take the place of our own celestial body.

6/4 the Moon nears Saturn

The morning sky already shows us the heralds of summer: the constellations Sagittarius and especially Capricornus. In the realm of this mountain goat, the Moon and Saturn meet today and stand at a separation of 5.3 degrees.

15/4 the Moon passes the Golden Gate of the Ecliptic

Three days after the new Moon, the delicate crescent Moon appears again in the evening above the western horizon. Our satellite reaches the Golden Gate of the Ecliptic, which is flanked by the famous star clusters of the Hyades and the Pleiades.

17/4 the Moon nears Mars

The Moon and Mars meet tonight at a distance of around 2.5 degrees.  The Red Planet is still in the constellation Taurus, but on 24 April it will move to the constellation Gemini.

19/4 the Moon nears Pollux

The Moon approaches the star Pollux in Gemini at a separation of 3.3 degrees. The more interesting thing tonight, however, is the occultation of star kappa Gem by the Moon. It approaches with its unlit side and swallows the bright mag. 3.5 star for a little more than an hour. The occultation can only be followed in certain regions with sufficient darkness. In Germany, the occultation begins at around 20:21.

26/4 Venus nears Mercury

This is something for specialists: because Venus and Mercury are not yet visible in the evening sky. But at dusk, the two inner planets approach one another and pass by at a distance of 1.3 degrees. At 20:45 CEST, the Sun will be just 4 degrees below the horizon and the planets will be slightly above it. So you may catch a glimpse with large binoculars, but it’ll be difficult to observe.

May

4/5 the Moon nears Saturn

Capricornus belongs to the summer constellations and is already climbing above the horizon in the morning sky. The planet Saturn will remain in this constellation for the next two years, before it moves to Aquarius. However, this morning the Lord of the Rings gets a visit from the Moon.

5/5 the Moon nears Jupiter

Yesterday, the Moon visited Saturn, today it also calls on Jupiter. It is still in the neighbourhood, after Jupiter and Saturn met in a very close conjunction last December.

10/5 Mercury visible, evening sky

Mercury has good evening visibility this month – it’s the only month this year when it is really easy to observe. From 10 May, it’s easy to find on the western horizon. At around 21:30 it will be dark enough that you will have no problem seeing it gleaming in the sky. Venus is on the verge of setting, but Mercury is around 8.5 degrees above the horizon. This means: if you have a good view towards the horizon, you have an hour until it disappears in the haze of the horizon and sets. Over the course of the month the little planet climbs the stairway to the heavens, and will be located a little higher every day. On 18 May, it will not set until 22:53 CEST – but thereafter it sets a little earlier every day.

13/5 the Moon nears Mercury

One of the most beautiful encounters on the evening sky: shortly after sunset today, the 3.5% illuminated crescent Moon joins Mercury and will be just 2 degrees to the south. Further below you will discover Venus.

15/5 the Moon nears Mars

In the far west, today the still-narrow crescent Moon meets with Mars in the constellation Gemini. By the way, NASA launched a new robot mission to Mars last year. NASA successfully landed the Perseverance rover on Mars in February, as part of the Mars 2020 mission. The first ever Mars helicopter is on board. Controlled by rotor blades, the drone will fly through the thin “air” and help to explore Mars from a low altitude.

17/5 Mercury at greatest eastern elongation

Mercury is at its largest eastern elongation today. With this, it reaches its greatest angular distance from the Sun and holds an easy-to-observe position above the horizon. We now have more than an hour to marvel at it before it sets. If you want to observe it with a telescope, now is also the right time – as the planet sneaks away from the thicker layers of air in the atmosphere.

17/5 the Moon nears the Beehive

It is often simply called M44 or Praesepe, but a particularly nice name for this object is: the Beehive cluster. Like in a luminous beehive, there are about 300 stars bustling in this open star cluster. The Moon nears the Beehive at about 4 degrees. This means you can see both objects with a pair of binoculars in the same field of view.

19/5 the Moon nears Regulus

Tonight, the waxing Moon nears Regulus, the main star in constellation Leo, which is also called Little King in German. Its position is close to the ecliptic, which means that repeated occultations of Regulus by the Moon can occur.

28/5 Mercury near Venus

Mercury had its best evening visibility this month and was positioned high above the horizon. Meanwhile, it has lost some height and is joining up with lower-positioned Venus. They pass by one another, but meet on the 28th and approach each other at a separation of up to 0.5 degrees.

31/5 the Moon nears Saturn

In the second half of the night, you can observe the Moon and Saturn in a southerly direction in constellation Capricorn. The constellation climbs higher and higher until daybreak, and approaches the meridian, the highest point in the sky.

Premium large binocular sets with mount, central gear column and tripod

February 17 2021, Marcus Schenk

One thousand and one. No, we are not talking about the Arabian Nights, rather we are talking about the available selection of suitable binoculars for observation. One thousand and one is approximately the number of binoculars between which you can choose.

Which binoculars fit your tripod? And what connects the two? Just like a telescope lens, astronomical binoculars on their own are like a three-legged horse. You just won’t reach your destination with it. You also need a mount and a tripod. However, the heavier the binoculars, the more difficult it is to make the right decision.

We have six created different sets for you, consisting of Omegon Brightsky binoculars, a massive Neptune fork mount and a stable carbon tripod. If any binocular and tripod combo has ever earned the description of “solid as a rock”, this is it.

Why Brightsky large binoculars are the right choice for astronomers

Brightsky large binoculars come in three different objective aperture sizes, namely 70mm, 80mm and 100mm, and with an eyepiece of either 45 or 90 degrees. Tempered lenses in a sturdy magnesium casing offer clear views of the sky or distant objects in nature. So that your binoculars can also accompany you on every outing throughout the years, they are also waterproof and nitrogen-filled.

Brightsky large binoculars come with two 18mm flat field wide-angle eyepieces for fantastic observations. Other astronomical eyepieces can also be inserted, just like with a telescope.

Das Brightsky Fernglas komplett im Set mit Gabel und Stativ

The Brightsky binoculars set complete with fork mount and tripod

Neptune: the best fork mount in the Galaxy?

The Neptune premium fork mount is a new development for demanding binocular astronomers. Namely for those who have finally had enough of vibrating instruments. This fork mount competently supports large binoculars up to 290mm in width and nine kilograms in weight. Stable profiles and large Teflon bearings provide silky-smooth movement along both axes and make it simple to navigate the skies. We pay particular attention to quality during manufacturing – which is why we have these fork mounts manufactured exclusively in Portugal.

Superior carbon tripod – with central crank column

So that the foundations are also right, the binocular and fork mount combination sits on top of a carbon tripod having 40mm legs. Ultralight construction but uncannily sturdy: this tripod carries up to 50 kilograms in weight. The tripod can be raised to a height of 1.9m and has an additional central crank column. This means you can easily and quickly position your binoculars perfectly for each observer.

Who are the sets suited to? 

– For amateur astronomers who want to finally have binoculars which will satisfy them for years

– For observer who don’t want to keep searching and don’t want to have to keep compromising

– For astronomy enthusiasts who want to experience the night sky intensely using both eyes

The set consists of:

– Brightsky large binoculars with 70, 80 or 100mm objective aperture and two 18mm flat field eyepieces

– Neptune fork mount for large binoculars

– Omegon 40mm carbon tripod with central crank column

These premium large binocular sets with mount and tripod let you see how much fun binocular astronomy can be. We also recommend that you look at the binoculars with fork mount at the same time!

Explore Scientific: Guidescope and finderscope in one

February 9 2021, Stefan Taube

Small telescopes which are mounted parallel to the telescope fulfil two purposes: as a finderscope, they help the observer to navigate the night sky, whilst as a guidescope, they help with the astronomical mount’s precise tracking.

Explore Scientific Guidescope 8x50 Helikal

Explore Scientific 8×50 helical guidescope

The manufacturer, Explore Scientific, has produced two models which superbly meet the requirements for both of these:

Both scopes are equipped with a removable eyepiece. Without this eyepiece, they can be used as a guidescope with a helical focuser. They use a guiding camera with a mating dimension of 1.25”. With the aid of the guide sleeve clips, the guidescope can be aligned to a guide star. The camera keeps this firmly in view and corrects minute mount errors using drive pulses.

Using the eyepiece, small telescopes are converted into high-quality finderscopes, producing images vastly superior to standard finderscopes. The eyepiece is fitted with an illuminated crosshair.

Abnehmbare Okulareinheit

Removable eyepiece

Thanks to this practical solution provided by Explore Scientific an auxiliary telescope is only required for different applications.

New: StarAid Revolution standalone autoguider

January 21 2021, Stefan Taube

Autoguiding is understood to refer to the automatic monitoring of the tracking of astronomical mounts. This monitoring is required for astrophotography in order to keep the targeted object steady on the camera’s sensor.

There are a multitude of cameras available for autoguiding, however they require a laptop or PC and suitable software. Now, standalone solutions are coming out which do not require these supports. The latest innovation in this field is the StarAid Revolution autoguiding camera. Tracking monitoring is extremely simple using this!

StarAid-Kamera-Standalone-Autoguider-Revolution-Revision-B

StarAid Revolution standalone autoguider revision B

Plug & Guide: Connect the camera to your guide scope, connect it to your mount via the guide port, and voila! The camera kicks into action after around 30 seconds and sends corrective impulses to your mount’s motors.

But the StarAid Revolution can do even more: For example, polar alignment, the precise alignment of your mount with the Earth’s rotational axis. It is even possible to control the astronomical camera. An app is available for these additional options and also to monitor the tracking. In order to allow you to connect your smartphone to your autoguider, the StarAid Revolution creates its own WiFi network.

Revolution is a big word. Here, it really does apply!

Declare war on viruses and bacteria!

January 12 2021, Patric Leibig

During the colder seasons, we spend more and more time in enclosed spaces, therefore increasing our risk of contracting viruses.
It only takes a short amount of time for us to lose our ability to assess air quality as we adapt to smells. This increases the importance of counteracting this.

Significantly reduce the risk of infection due to SARS-CoV-2 / Covid19 (Coronaviruses) and other viruses by using ambient air filters with Hepa H13 filter systems and CO2 monitors.

Seben HT-2008 CO2 Monitor

Air filters reduce aerosols in the ambient air.

SARS-CoV-2 / Covid19 and other lower respiratory illnesses are transmitted via aerosols/water droplets, amongst other things. Air purifiers with class H13 HEPA filters can filter these minute particles out of the ambient air and therefore significantly reduce the risk of infection. A combination of regular ventilation and air purifiers with class H13 “High Efficiency Particulate Air Filters” HEPA filters is the best way to reduce the risk of infection in enclosed spaces. H13 HEPA filters remove minute aerosols (<5µm) from the air and improve air quality. CO2 monitors can also be used to support ventilation.

Air filter

 

According to estimates, the risk of a person in a room becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2 / Covid19 (coronaviruses) due to the presence of a superspreader is reduced sixfold by using air filters with H13 HEPA filter technology.

Monitor and improve the air quality in your office, your flat, the classroom, etc, using the following measures:

  • Proper and regular ventilation / cross ventilation
  • CO2 monitors which support your ventilation
  • Air purifiers / air filters with H13 or H14 “High Efficiency Particulate Air Filter” HEPA filters

Calculating the filter output for your room:

The ambient air filter should be able to filter the entire volume of air in the room at least 2x per hour in order to considerably reduce the concentration of aerosols and particulates. It is easy to work out the filter output you require:

To calculate the volume of your room, and therefore the volume of air, multiple the room’s length x breadth x height. Multiply this result by 2 and you have calculated the filter output in m³/h for your room.

Example:

Length: 5m, width: 4m, height: 2.5m

5m x 4m x 2.5m = 50m³

50m³ x 2 (per h) = 100m³/h

For classrooms / schools or other spaces where groups of people gather, we recommend calculating the air purifier’s output at 5 to 6 times the volume of the room.

Example:

For a room with a volume of 50m³, the air purifier used should have a minimum output of 300m³/h.

Omegon carbon tripods: The alternative for heavy instruments

January 7 2021, Marcus Schenk

Are you looking for a tripod which can securely hold your large binoculars or your heavy camera equipment? Let’s cut to the chase – a lot of aluminium tripods have problems managing this. Who wants to wait three hours until the binoculars stop swaying, until you can finally see a steady image?

This is why Omegon has launched two new tripods which are heavy instrument carrying pros. Let us introduce you to… the Omegon ProCarbon 32 and the Omegon ProCarbon 40.

Stabiles Carbonstativ

The new, ultra-stable Omegon Pro 40mm Carbon

Both tripods perform admirably, even if you mount a 5kg camera or if you use a pair of large 125mm binoculars on them. Ten layers of carbon and CNC aluminium components make these high-quality all-rounders which are a joy to use, even when fully extended. With a load capacity of 20 – 50kg a gentle breeze can even drift past.

We tested the Omegon Pro Carbon 40 using a massive fork mount and the Omegon Brightsky Large Binoculars. With this sturdy tripod as your foundation, it is easy to lose yourself in the starlit sky.

Die Omegon Neptune Montierung auf dem Omegon Carbonstativ

A fork mount and heavy large binoculars: This is an ideal job for the carbon tripod. A stable combination so that you can enjoy viewing without any vibrations.

 

The advantages at a glance:

– Sturdy tripod with 32 or 40 carbon fibre tripod legs for vibration-free observation and easy transportation
– Confidently supports heavy cameras, spotting scopes and large binoculars
– Steel tips and rubber feet: the correct foothold on any surface
– Large height: look through your binoculars at a comfortable height and wave goodbye to backache
– A tripod for the future which you will not want to part with

Discover more about the stylish and sturdy Omegon ProCarbon 32 and Omegon ProCarbon 40 tripods on our product pages.

For people in need: Astroshop donates 15,000 euro to Doctors Without Borders

December 21 2020, Marcus Schenk

There are times where astronomy fades into the background, when telescopes and presents are not so important. What is important is to help people who are sick or in need. A Christmas idea that Astroshop is putting into practice once again this year: thanks to you, we are donating 15,000 euro to Doctors Without Borders.

 

Fighting against suffering and death

We have to admit that, despite many problems, people in Central Europe live comfortably. What happens out there in the rest of the world often seems distant, even if we see it in the news every day. But all this can change quickly, as we have seen first-hand with the Corona crisis. Like the shadow of the approaching night, the virus spread mercilessly across the entire world, and, in no time, had us in its grip.

The poorer countries in particular are facing a double shock due to the crisis. Take Sierra Leone for example, where the mortality rate is higher than in virtually any other country. Where more than one in ten children do not make it to their fifth birthday. The health system is in a catastrophic state and fails to meet any standards. Water is scarce or contaminated, malaria is raging – and COVID-19 poses a new threat. Or in the world’s largest refugee camp in Bangladesh, where more than 900,000 people live in catastrophic conditions, almost half of whom are children are under the age of 11. Help is needed everywhere.

Doctors Without Borders is active in all these trouble spots and have already made many things possible, for example the provision of a COVID-19 hospital with 200 beds in Rio de Janeiro. The organisation is active in many areas; it brings important medicines and water along difficult roads or rivers, and treats the people. During the Corona crisis, Doctors Without Borders fight against death and for life in more than 70 countries. We want to support that.

How we came about the masks

At the beginning, in March 2020, masks were scarce. We therefore used our relationships with our Chinese producers to make protective masks for everyday use available quickly and cheaply. Maybe this is unusual for a provider of telescopes for astronomy, but health and social responsibility concern us all. We also supplied astronomers with masks having astronomy motifs.

It was clear from the beginning that we wanted to link each sale with a donation for Doctors Without Borders. One euro from every sale goes to the organisation. We have topped up the amount raised so far, and are donating 15,000 euro. A Christmas gift that will spread joy.

This is made possible by our customers, and for that we say “thank you”!

Despite the difficult situation, we wish you a wonderful Advent and a happy Christmas.

Your Astroshop team

Special gift ideas for astronomers and nature watchers

December 7 2020, Stefan Taube

Are you looking for a little something? We are offering you selected gifts for young and young at heart nature fans.

To help you make your choice, we have grouped our gift ideas as follows:

Our specific recommendations from these categories:

For astronomy beginners

Omegon-150-750

Omegon Telescope N 150/750 EQ-3

The Omegon Telescope N 150/750 EQ-3 is a very popular beginners telescope, with which the highlights of the night sky can be observed easily.  Star clusters, the Orion Nebula, the Andromeda Galaxy, the Moon and the planets are all within the capabilities of this beautiful instrument.

For amateur astronomers

Omegon ADC

Omegon ADC Atmospheric Dispersion Corrector

Advanced observers will love the Omegon ADC Atmospheric Dispersion Corrector. Behind this somewhat long-winded title, lies an accessory that allows planets and other objects, even those close to the horizon, to be observed in sharper focus. This is a particularly useful and reasonably-priced tool for planetary astrophotography.

For nature fans

Omegon Fernglas Talron

Omegon Binoculars Talron HD 8×42

Omegon Binoculars Talron HD 8×42  belong in every home.  Equipped with these you can take a quick look at birds in your garden, and you’ll want to take them with you when you next go for a walk or a hike. The binoculars offer a sharp image which, at eight times magnification, remains steady when hand-held.  They are easy to carry and, thanks to the large focus wheel, comfortable to use.

For children and the young

Omegon-70-700

Omegon Telescope AC 70/700 AZ-2

The Omegon Teleskop AC 70/700 AZ-2 is a classical refractor telescope, which is especially suited to children and the young. The low eyepiece position is easy for children to reach, and the operation of the telescope is particularly intuitive.  Due to the favourable focal ratio it is possible to view the Moon and bright planets without annoying colour aberrations. But you can also enjoy observing star clusters and the Orion Nebula using this telescope.

That special gift

Oklop Leinwanddruck Orionnebel M42

Oklop Orion Nebula M42 Canvas Print 50cm x 75cm

Talking of the Orion Nebula: this beautiful celestial object is also available as a high quality canvas print. You can find further images in this range of prints from Oklop here in our shop.

We hope you enjoy browsing through our gift ideas!

Astronomy Highlights in Winter 2020/21

December 2 2020, Marcus Schenk

An extremely close encounter between Jupiter and Saturn, Mars and Uranus together in your field of view and the Geminids coincide with a new Moon. Once again there are all sorts of reasons to take a look and admire the starry sky. In the infographic “Astronomy Highlights in Winter 2020/21”, you have all the important celestial events occurring in the next three months at a glance. We wish you lots of observing pleasure!

December:

13/12 Geminids

If the evening sky is clear, take a look to the south. The Geminids meteor shower will appear to be originating from the constellation Gemini. Or to be more precise: from a point two degrees above the star Pollux. The best time for observing is between 21:00 and 06:00 CEST. With 120 meteors per hour, the Geminids are among the most active meteor showers. We are especially lucky with the timing this year since we have a new Moon and so we can observe, undisturbed, all night.

13/12 Conjunction between the Moon and Venus

Are you an early bird who can think of nothing better than to gaze at the stars in the early hours? This morning it will be worth your while. From around 05:30 GMT (06:30 CET) you can see lustrous Venus in the sky and, underneath it, the delicate crescent Moon – since the very next day we have a new Moon. This weekend is perfect for deep-sky observing.

17/12 Conjunction between the Moon, Saturn and Jupiter

We are able to enjoy this attractive event thanks to the fact that at the moment it gets dark early. At dusk we see a conjunction between Jupiter, Saturn and the young waxing crescent Moon. The two gas giants accompanied us throughout last summer and every evening they were the brightest objects in the southern sky. Now they disappear early and let the winter sky take centre stage.

21/12 Ursids

The Ursids are a meteor shower on which you can keep your eye on all night. This is because they originate from the constellation Ursa Minor, from which these meteors also get their name. These beacons speed across the sky considerably slower than the Perseids – at around 35 kilometers per second.

21/12 Winter solstice

21/12 Conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn (note: they appear very close together)

Are you observing the Star of Bethlehem today? It’s the highlight of the month and you definitely shouldn’t miss it. On 21 December, coinciding with the winter solstice, Jupiter and Saturn present us with an unusual spectacle since in this conjunction they are just 5 arc minutes apart. A truly rare sight.

Let’s step back in time: Jupiter and Saturn also met one another in the year 7 BC. In that year a total of three such conjunctions in constellation Pisces between these two planets occurred. Scientists can still prove that today. We can assume that, due to its distinctive nature, this was what became to be known as the Star of Bethlehem. An interesting association so close to Christmas, isn’t it?

How about observing both of them through your telescope in a single field of view? You need to be sure to take up your observing position early. Preferably around 17:00 CET when the gas giants are sufficiently high in the sky, since in less than 1.5 hours they will disappear into the haze on the horizon.

21/12 The Moon occults mag 4.3 star

At 20:04 GMT (21:04 CET) the Moon occults the 4.3 mag star 30 PSC, which belongs to the constellation Pisces. What is especially beautiful is that the Moon moves closer to the star from its unilluminated side, so suddenly the star disappears as if it was simply switched off. At 21:15 GMT (22:15 CET) it twinkles again from the other side of the Moon.

23/12 The Moon near Mars

In October Mars stood in favourable opposition and was spectacular to see. Now it is in the constellation Pisces where it can be observed during the first half of the night. This evening the Moon joins it.

24/12

Happy Christmas!

27/12 The Moon near Aldebaran and the Pleiades

Even people who do not concern themselves with the night sky notice the Pleiades, and they often mistake them for Ursa Minor. Observers of the sky know differently: it is the best-known open star cluster which has been observed by mankind for thousands of years and which has a special significance for many cultures. Tonight the Moon meets up with the Pleiades and with Aldebaran, the brightest star in Taurus.

January:

02/01 Quadrantids

The Quadrantids is a meteor shower originating from the constellation Boötes. The new year starts with an astronomical performance which delivers around 120 meteors per hour. The radiant, from where the shooting stars appear to originate, only appears after midnight. Unfortunately, this year the bright Moon disturbs the show, since full Moon was only three days ago.

03/01 The Moon near Regulus

Today the Moon and Regulus can be seen, with a separation of 4 degrees. The name Regulus means ”little king“ in Latin. Because of its proximity to the ecliptic, it regularly meets the Moon.

07/01 The Moon near Spica

Spica is a massive blue star, a variable star, and at the same time a binary star system. 262 light years away, 13,000 times brighter than the Sun, and 7.5 times larger than the radius of the Sun, it takes 16th place in the list of the brightest stars in the sky. Spica is located at the ear of grain that Virgo holds in her left hand, this is also the origin of the star’s Latin name. On 7 January the Moon is nearby.

11/01 The Moon near Venus

On the morning of 11 January dawn is nearly over when Venus rises at 06:00 GMT (07:00 CET) and meets the slender crescent Moon above. At this point the Sun is still just 9 degrees below the horizon.

20/01 Mars near Uranus

The planet Uranus is theoretically visible with the naked eye. However, in practice the 2.9 billion kilometre distant planet is not so easy to find. The problem is that it is so small that it can be difficult to distinguish from a star. This is tricky with binoculars, but is a little easier with a telescope where you can distinguish one ”star“ with a minimally-greater diameter from another. This evening you can find Uranus more easily because it comes near Mars at a distance of 1.5 degrees.

If you use an eyepiece with a longer focal length then you can admire both in your field of view.

21/01 The Moon near Mars

Today the Moon passes Mars at a separation of 5.5 degrees.

24.01. Mercury at greatest eastern elongation

Mercury orbits the Sun so quickly and so close, that we cannot always observe it. However now Mercury is once again at a greater angular distance of 18 degrees from the Sun. That’s not a large number, but we can nonetheless observe it during its half phase. Mercury is to be seen in the evening sky shortly after sunset. Whatever you do, wait until the Sun has set. Then you will discover Mercury just above the western horizon.

27/01 Mercury at best visibility

Today Mercury reaches its highest position in the night sky, and with it its best evening visibility. From tomorrow its orbit sends it lower, back towards the horizon.

February:

03/02 The Moon near Spica

Once again, this morning the Moon passes by star Spica in Virgo. What is behind these frequent encounters? The ecliptic lies above Spica which ensures that the Moon frequently comes to visit.

06/02 The Moon near Antares

This morning, the 23-day old and waning Moon meets Antares, the brightest star in the constellation Scorpius.

19/02 The Moon near Mars, Pleiades and the Hyades

A fine sight in the evening sky: the Moon visits the constellation Taurus and remains in a position between the Hyades and the Pleiades. Both are ancient open star clusters that people have been observing since time immemorial. Mars joins in too. Isn’t this get-together worth a photo?

23/02 The Moon near Pollux

In the last days of the month the waxing Moon wanders from the constellation Taurus towards Gemini. This evening it meets Pollux, a red giant star that is 34 light years away.

26/02 The Moon near Regulus

Just a few hours before the full Moon, our satellite meets up with Regulus, the brightest star in Leo. When dusk is over we see an interesting image in the starry sky: in the west the autumn constellations are disappearing from view, in the south the winter constellations reach their highest point, and in the east spring is climbing over the horizon.

New in stock: CO2 monitors

November 6 2020, Patric Leibig

These air monitors display the carbon dioxide content in the air.

What is the ideal maximum indoor CO2 level?
According to the German Federal Environment Agency, indoor air quality is categorised as follows:

  • Good ambient air quality: < 800ppm
  • Average ambient air quality: 800 to 1,000ppm
  • Moderate ambient air quality: 1,000 to 1,400ppm
  • Poor ambient air quality: > 1,400ppm
Omegon CO2 Monitor 1200P

Omegon 1200P CO2 Monitor

Regular and proper ventilation…

The German Federal Centre for Health Education and the Robert Koch Institute advise regular ventilation of offices, schools, flats… Indoor spaces in general. Aerosols provide a possible transmission path for Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses. They build up very quickly and disperse themselves in closed indoor spaces. Proper ventilation is important to prevent risk of infection and improve the indoor climate.

Omegon CO2 Messgerät HT-2008

Omegon HT-2008 CO2 Monitor

CO2 monitors help you to monitor ambient air quality and support your regular ventilation. Most devices warn you using a traffic light system or alarm sounds as soon as pre-programmed values are exceeded. This is important as people are generally very good at assessing a room’s air quality upon entry but they quickly lose this assessment ability as they adapt to smells, meaning that any deterioration is no longer noticed. We also tend to close windows too quickly when the temperature falls starkly and it gets colder.

The CO2 monitors use sensors to measure the air’s CO2 concentration and show the current carbon dioxide content range using the traffic light display.

These devices use sensors to measure the ambient air’s CO2 content, the temperature and usually also the humidity and therefore help you to learn how to ventilate properly in order to contain viruses.

You can find a large selection of CO2 monitors here in our shop.

28.02.2021
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