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Marcus Schenk

Marcus Schenk

Posts composed by Marcus Schenk

AstroFest 2023 in London: why it’s worth a visit

February 1 2023, Marcus Schenk

If you’re an astronomy fan, you really shouldn’t miss this. The European AstroFest 2023 is taking place in London once again! On 3rd and 4th February, you’ll get the chance to experience all those products that make every observer’s heart beat a little faster.

We will be there too with our Omegon stand. You can experience our latest products live and up close.

 

 

Here’s a selection of the highlights:

MiniTrack: you can become an astrophotographer in the blink of an eye; the MiniTrack Astrotracker only needs a tripod and your own camera. With it, you’re ready in an instant to start shooting amazing nightscape pictures.

Neptune fork mount: you’ll be able to observe the night sky with your large binoculars more comfortably than ever before with the Omegon Neptune fork mount. This mount delivers superior stability, giving you the flexibility to reach any target in the sky. With an optional tripod, your binoculars become a solid observation station for the most amazing observing evenings.

Kolossus: the Omegon Kolossus is a new parallelogram mount for large binoculars. With it, observing stars is a pleasurable experience. You’ll feel as if your binoculars are weightless and almost floating in the air. This is achieved by a three-part swivel arm, 360-degree rotation, and a mechanism allowing you to perfectly balance your binoculars. For relaxed and fascinating observations that are simply more fun.

But: there’s plenty more to discover around the subject of astronomy at our stand!

What is AstroFest?
AstroFest is an annual astronomy event, rather like a trade fair, where astronomy enthusiasts from all over the world come together in London. Here you can listen to lectures from experts, discover countless telescopes and accessories, and take a closer look at the latest developments in the astronomy marketplace. If you’ve never been before, why not come along to the city on the Thames?

We look forward to seeing you!

 

The address:

Kensington Conference and Events Centre
The Town Hall, Hornton Street
London, W8 7NX

Telescopes for children and young people: 3 perfect present ideas – Video with English subtitles

December 2 2022, Marcus Schenk

Looking for a present for your children? In this video, we give you tips and advice to help you find the right telescope. We have selected three different models, which are suitable for beginners. Additionally, we show you which accessories you realistically need. Watch the video and discover the fascinating world of astronomy with your family!

Products shown in the video:

AC 90/1000 EQ-2 telescope

Omegon Advanced 130/650 EQ-320

Omegon 152/1200 Advanced Dobsonian

17.5cm rotating star chart

Astronomy torch Astro-Flashlight

Book for children and young people 

Cronus eyepieces

Astronomy Highlights in Winter 2022/2023

November 30 2022, Marcus Schenk

Mars at opposition, two planetary occultations by the Moon, the Geminids and beautiful triangular arrangements between the Moon and the planets. This winter, there are many reasons to look towards the stars. And you should join in!

In the “Astronomy Highlights in Winter 2022/23” infographic, you can find important celestial events for the next three months. Have fun observing!

December

02/12 Conjunction between the Moon and Jupiter

When darkness is upon us, we can gaze at the Moon and Jupiter on the south-eastern horizon. The gas giant will be blazing with an intensity of -2.5 magnitudes.

05/12 The Moon occults Uranus

The Moon and the planets travel along an imaginary line known as the ecliptic. This is the plane along which the planets and the Sun appear to move. Every now and then, the Moon occults one of the planets. And that time has come once again, as the dark side of the Moon approaches and occults Uranus at 5:34pm.

07/12 Conjunction between the Moon and Plejades

In the early hours of 7 December, the almost-full moon reaches the Golden Gate of the Ecliptic, which is flanked by the famous Hyades and Pleiades star clusters.

08/12 The Moon occults Mars/Opposition

Mars is at opposition to the Sun today and is  shining particularly bright and looks magnificent through a telescope. During this year’s opposition, the planet reaches a diameter of 17 arc seconds and a height of 66 degrees above the horizon from central Europe. And today is also a double event as, in the early hours of 8 December, at around 6am, our Moon occults the Red Planet.

14/12 Geminids

If the skies are clear in the evening, look towards the south. You will see the Geminids meteors emerging from the constellation of Gemini. Or more precisely, from a spot two degrees above the star, Pollux. With 120 meteors per hour, this shower is one of the events with the highest fall rates. In the early evening, up to 10pm, you can view it undisturbed by the Moon, as this is when our satellite appears over the horizon.

Lunar phases:

08/12 Full moon, 16/12 Waning quarter, 23/12 New moon, 30/12 Waxing quarter

January

01/01 Conjunction between the Moon and Uranus

Over and over, encounters or occultation between the Moon and planets take place along the path of the ecliptic. At the start of the new year, the Moon scrapes past Uranus at a distance of only half a degree.

03/01 Conjunction between Moon and Mars

Two bodies are competing for brightness today… the Moon and Mars. Both appear in the eastern skies when darkness falls. The Moon passes eastward beneath Mars.

03/01 Quadrantids

The next meteors are on their way to us – the Quadrantids. This meteor shower originates in the constellation of Bootes. The meteors shoot across the sky at a maximum rate of 120 per hour. The Moon only leaves our field of vision in the early hours of the morning.

16/01 Pallas at opposition

With a diameter of 588 kilometres, the asteroid Pallas is the second largest in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. During its opposition, it is so bright that we can easily see it with a small telescope and, theoretically, even with binoculars. To tell it apart from the stars, you should use a star chart whilst observing.

22/01 Conjunction between Saturn and Venus

A good view of the horizon is essential for this event. During twilight, the stunningly bright Venus outshines the considerably weaker, but still bright, Saturn above the western horizon. From 5:30pm, we have an hour-long opportunity to follow this celestial pair, both of which become weaker and then disappear into the haze.

23/01 The Moon near Venus and Saturn

An attractive event for all who are interested… Today a slim crescent moon joins the planets Venus and Saturn. Together, they are a dream team for a wonderful twilight photo.

30/01 Conjunction between the Moon and Mars

This evening, the Moon visits the Red Planet. During the night, our satellite draws nearer until both objects are around one degree apart in the morning hours.

Lunar phases:

07/01 Full moon, 15/01 Waning quarter, 21/01 New moon, 28/01 Waxing quarter

February

15/02 Conjunction between Venus and Neptune

Venus and Neptune come to within 0.25 degrees of each other – a very close encounter between two very different planets. Whilst Venus beams like a floodlight, Neptune shines 50,000 times less bright.

22/02 Conjunction between Venus and Jupiter

This evening, the crescent moon appears with two planets. A beautiful view which you should not miss.

27/02 Conjunction between the Moon and Mars

This evening, Mars and the Moon can both be found in the constellation Taurus.

Lunar phases:

05/02 Full moon, 13/02 Waning quarter, 20/02 New moon, 27/02 Waxing quarter

Video: Solar observation with telescopes and filter tips (with English subtitles)

October 19 2022, Marcus Schenk

Want to observe the Sun? Welcome to the solar observation club!

In this video we show you how to easily observe the Sun, sunspots or solar prominences using your telescope. Additionally, you will learn which filters and what additional equipment you need for this. Finally, fantastic images of the Sun await you. A guide for beginners and other fans of our central star. Solar observation is fun!

But beware… Never observe the Sun without a suitable solar filter! And never leave children unattended with a telescope or binoculars near the Sun!

Good to know: We will have a partial solar eclipse on 25 October. Secure your solar filter and solar eclipse glasses now – our stocks are limited.

From the video:

 

  1. Take care when observing the Sun
  2. What you must consider
  3. The technique of white light observation
  4. What is it and what can you see?
  5. Which filter works for me?
  6. What to consider for solar lens filters
  7. Glass or foil and finding the correct filter size
  8. How to locate the Sun quickly in your telescope
  9. Herschel wedges for refracting telescopes
  10. Observing solar prominences and chromospheres
  11. Impressions of the Sun in H-alpha


Products shown in the video:

 

Omegon 45791 solar filter

Omegon ProNewton N 153/750 OTA

iOptron GEM28 GoTo LiteRoc mount

Baader AstroSolar solar eclipse glasses

Astrozap solar filter for external diameters of 232 to 238mm

Baader AstroSolar® OD 5.0 A4 210x297mm solar filter film

Baader AstroSolar ASTF 200mm telescope solar filter

Omegon 150mm solar filter

APM Herschel wedge 2″ FastLock

MEADE 2″ Herschel wedge with ND3 filter and ceramic plate

Omegon Pro APO AP 72/400 ED Quintuplet OTA apochromatic refracting telescope

Coronado ST 40/400 OTA PST Personal Solar Telescope

Coronado ST 40/400 0.5Å OTA PST Personal Solar Telescope

Daystar QUARK H-alpha solar filter, Chromosphere

Daystar QUARK H-alpha solar filter, Prominence

Astronomy highlights in Autumn 2022

August 31 2022, Marcus Schenk

Autumn is on its way, and the evenings get dark earlier. For many, this marks the start of a great observing season. And it’s all there: Saturn is eye-catching as it shines in the night sky, Jupiter is at opposition and there will even be a partial eclipse of the Sun! What’s more, the Moon will occult Uranus. And that’s just the start!

In our “Astronomy Highlights in Autumn 2022” infographic, you’ll find many of the important celestial events at a glance. Information and further explanations of the events can be found in the accompanying text.

Have fun observing!

September

11/09 Conjunction between the Moon and Jupiter

The Moon and Jupiter rise almost together and we can admire them at around 9 p.m. above the eastern horizon.

14/09 The Moon occults Uranus

The Moon and the planets move along an imaginary line in the sky known as the ecliptic. This refers to the apparent path along which planets move around the Sun. Once in a while the Moon occults one of the planets. Now, on the 14th, it’s that time again: the Moon approaches with its illuminated side and occults Uranus at around 10 p.m.

16/09 Conjunction between the Moon and Mars

Shortly before midnight, the constellation Taurus climbs above the eastern horizon and will look particularly attractive today, because it also marks the meeting place of Mars and the Moon. Together with Aldebaran, Capella and the Pleiades, it makes a lovely sight.

16/09 Neptune at opposition

Our farthest planet is at opposition to the Sun tonight. Neptune is currently 4.3 billion kilometres away from us and shines with a magnitude of 7.8. Its light takes 4 hours to reach the Earth. We can even see Neptune with binoculars, though it cannot be distinguished from a star. It is only with a telescope that can we identify it as a planet with certainty. But it’s not so easy to find as Jupiter or Saturn. A star chart or app will help you.

26/09 Jupiter at opposition

An opposition is quite special: for this is when a planet is directly opposite the Sun and shines brightly all night long. Jupiter is currently at an altitude of 42 degrees above the horizon. This is considerably higher than in recent years, which greatly improves the quality of our observations.

Lunar phases:

03/09 First Quarter, 10/09 Full Moon, 17/09 Last Quarter, 25/09 New Moon

October

05/10 Conjunction between the Moon and Saturn

Tonight, the Moon passes below the ringed planet. On the Moon you can also observe the phenomenon known as the Golden Handle, an illuminated mountain at the Moon’s terminator.

08/10 Conjunction between the Moon and Jupiter

Time for a planetary evening! The Moon and Jupiter meet today in the constellation Capricorn. In September, Jupiter was at opposition to the Sun and is still an excellent object for any telescope. Tonight, we won’t be disturbed by a bright Moon.

11/10 Mercury in the morning

From 5 October, we can catch Mercury in the morning sky. The closest planet to the Sun is usually too close to it, which is why we rarely see it. October is the only time this year that it is visible in the night sky.

14/10 Conjunction between the Moon and Mars

From midnight, we get a taste of winter because then the constellations Auriga and Taurus appear above the horizon. In the middle of all this we can also see Mars and the Moon, which are particularly close to one another today. Can you see the red colour of our neighbouring planet?

21/10 Orionids

The Orionids are a small meteor shower producing around 20 meteors per hour. The radiant is located in the constellation Orion near the star Betelgeuse. Although you can observe the shooting stars throughout the month, they will be at their peak between 20 and 21 October. The best time to observe them is between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.

24/10 Conjunction between the Moon and Mercury

Are you an early riser? Perfect, because this morning you can take a quick look at the slender crescent Moon and Mercury. For this you will need an elevated location or an unobstructed view towards the horizon. Then, just before sunrise from 6:50 a.m., you will discover the two celestial bodies.

25/10 Partial solar eclipse

The last partial eclipse that was visible to us was on 10 June 2021. A little more than a year later we can follow the next one. It starts at around 11a.m. on 25 October when the Moon moves in front of the Sun and obscures around 25% of it.

Important: use a solar filter when observing. Safe filters are available in our Astroshop.

Lunar phases: 09/10 Full Moon, 17/10 Last Quarter, 25/10 New Moon

November

01/11 Conjunction between the Moon and Saturn

The waxing crescent Moon and the planet Saturn are now to be found together in the constellation Capricorn.

04/11 Conjunction between the Moon and Jupiter

This evening, the waxing Moon meets the planet Jupiter, which was at opposition in September. Over the course of the night, the two celestial bodies approach at a distance of around 2 degrees.

09/11 Uranus at opposition

Uranus is one of the most distant gas giants. It appears only as a tiny, greenish disc in a telescope and we cannot make out any detail. However, you can still distinguish it as a planet. Find Uranus with a star chart or, easier still, with your telescope’s GoTo system. Then you can identify the planet using 150 to 200 times magnification.

11/11 Conjunction between the Moon and Mars

Tonight, the waning Moon finds itself close to the planet Mars. The Red Planet is between the Moon and Aldebaran, the brightest star in the constellation Taurus. An interesting task for today is to compare the intensity of the red colours of Mars, Aldebaran and Betelgeuse.

17/11 Leonids

From 16 to 17/11, the Leonids reach their peak. Together with the Perseids, they are among the most famous meteor showers. In some years these meteors fall like raindrops from the sky. This usually happens every 33 years when the Earth meets the Leonids’ debris cloud. In normal years, the peak does not exceed 20 meteors per hour. This year, you can observe them during the first half of the night, undisturbed by moonlight.

Lunar phases: 08/11 Full Moon, 16/11 Last Quarter, 23/11 New Moon, 30/11 First Quarter

New: Services for Telescopes and Accessories

August 30 2022, Marcus Schenk

Discover our new workshop services here!

W have a professionally-equipped workshop, an optical bench and trained service personnel to diagnose and correct optical, mechanical and electronic problems with your equipment, quickly and professionally. Your Omegon telescope will feel just as happy with us as instruments from Meade, Celestron, Skywatcher and iOptron. We are an authorised service partner for all of these manufacturers. We can often assist with other brands so please do get in touch with us if your instrument brand is not mentioned.

Our services at a glance:

  • Collimation and adjustment of large binoculars
  • Filter testing (transmission measurement) with a spectrophotometer
  • Service, tuning and repair of mounts
  • Software updates and replacement of electronic components
  • Cleaning, adjustment and collimation of optics
  • Star testing using an artificial star
  • Interferometer measurement and autocollimation

You want to repair your telescope or have it checked? We are looking forward to hearing from you. Email: [email protected] Telephone: +49 8191 94049-1.

Video with English subtitles:Unistellar eVscope 2 in action

July 22 2022, Marcus Schenk

Automatic telescopes for everyone to view the Universe. Which we barely need to operate. Do they really work?

In this video, we present the Unistellar eVscope 2 telescope. Find out how it performs under the night sky. Have fun watching!

Products featured in video:

Unistellar N114/450 eVscope2 

Unistellar N114/450 eVscope eQuinox 

Carry bag, backpack for eVscope

Video with English subtitles: AZ or EQ mount?

June 8 2022, Marcus Schenk

A video for novice amateur astronomers!

Every telescope is equipped with a mount. It allows the device to be moved in every desired direction. These can be divided into “equatorial” and “alt-azimuth” mounts

What are the differences? Which suits your needs best? And what do you need to be aware of?

Have fun watching!

Products featured in video:

Omegon Advanced 150/750 EQ-320 telescope

Celestron AC 90/1000 Astromaster AZ telescope

Omegon Advanced X N 203/1200 Dobsonian telescope

Astronomy Highlights – Summer 2022

June 1 2022, Marcus Schenk

Summer shooting stars, planetary chains and Saturn and Pluto at opposition… Don’t miss out on these astronomical delicacies. And in August, an occultation of a bright star by the Moon awaits us.

In the “Astronomy Highlights in Summer 2022” infographic, you can find numerous important celestial events at a glance. You can find dates and detailed descriptions of the events in the accompanying text.

Have fun observing!

June

03/06 Conjunction between the Moon and M44

The waxing Moon crosses the ecliptic within the constellation Cancer this evening. In doing so, it approaches the M44 star cluster. You can admire both using binoculars with a large field of view.

16/06 Mercury at greatest western elongation

Mercury is at its greatest western elongation today. It, therefore, reaches its greatest angular distance from the Sun. Unfortunately, we have almost no time to view it and only experienced binocular observers will be able to make it out at dawn.

18/06 Conjunction between the Moon and Saturn

This morning, the Moon visits Saturn and both can be found 9 degrees apart in the constellation Capricorn.

22/06 Conjunction between Jupiter and Mars

Time for night owls and astronomers. From 2am, you can see Jupiter and Mars rising up over the eastern horizon. The Moon can be found at the centre of the event. A wonderful sight.

26/06 The Moon near Venus

This month, the planets are predominantly visible in the morning sky. They are lined up along a diagonal like a cosmic chain. The Moon will be paying most of the planets a visit and, on the 26th, it is Venus’ turn. The display is especially attractive three days before new Moon.

July

01/07   Conjunction between Venus and Aldebaran

Venus is almost as bright as possible – even bright stars found nearby can appear quite dull in comparison. On the first of the month, Venus approaches Taurus’ main star: Aldebaran.

16/07 Conjunction between the Moon and Saturn

The Moon passes by Saturn tonight and moves from the constellation Capricorn to Aquarius. The ringed planet is then even more visible and it reaches its opposition next month. This marks the start of the Summer of the Gas Giants.

19/07 Conjunction between the Moon and Jupiter

There are two competitors in the sky: the Moon and Jupiter. The gas giant has a magnitude of -2.5 and is only outshone by Venus and our own Moon.

20/07 Pluto at opposition

The former planet and current dwarf planet is at opposition and shining with a magnitude of 14.3. Finding it with a telescope is a challenge and it will only work if you have an  accurate star chart.

22/07 Conjunction between the Moon and Mars

After rising shortly before 1am, the Moon meets Mars, which is glowing red at a distance of five degrees. However, our satellite is much closer to Uranus, with only 2.6 degrees between them today.

26/07 Conjunction between the Moon and Venus

When the first light of dawn appears, it’s worth taking a glance at the horizon. There is a conjunction between the dazzling Venus and the wafer thin, 27-day-old crescent moon this morning. An excellent opportunity for some stunning photographs!

August

06/08 The Moon occults Delta Sco

Delta Sco is a star within the constellation of Scorpio which, at a magnitude of 2, can be found in the centre of its distinctive, tripartite pincers. This evening the dark side of the Moon is occulting it. This is always the best kind of occultation as the star suddenly disappears as if into thin air. To follow the start of the occultation at 23:52, you need a high elevation and an excellent view of the southwest horizon.

11/08 Conjunction between the Moon and Saturn

In the night between 11 and 12 August, the Moon approaches the ringed planets. As Saturn reaches it opposition this month, it can be easily seen for the entire month.

13/08 Perseids

The absolute highlight of every August is the Perseids meteor shower. We are able to see up to 100 meteors per hour tonight. Admittedly, this is only because the Moon is not interfering. This year, the bright, almost full Moon disrupts viewing and you will only be able to possibly see the brightest meteors. Using binoculars you have a chance to catch a few dim ones.

14/08 Saturn at opposition

In past years, Saturn has stopped just above the horizon due to the location of the ecliptic. This made successful viewing difficult. But the ringed planet climbed higher up the celestial ladder and reached an altitude of 20 degrees in 2019 and of 24 degrees in 2021. During its current opposition in August 2022, it reaches even greater heights of up to 26 degrees. A clear advantage as, the higher the position, the less we have to battle against light pollution. On 14 August, Saturn reaches opposition and can be clearly seen for the whole night. We can recognise it by its yellow colour and its gentle glow.

15/08 Conjunction between the Moon and Jupiter

During the nights of 14 and 15 August, the Moon approaches and passes by Jupiter. This encounter can be seen all night as our largest planet will now be visible throughout the night. Jupiter reaches opposition in the coming month.

19/08 Conjunction between the Moon and Mars

Are you missing that winter sky feeling? And in summer? You can get the chance after midnight. Then, there is a conjunction between Mars and the Moon within the constellation Taurus, right at the Golden Gate of the Ecliptic. A little higher up, the Pleiades light up the sky.

Total lunar eclipse on 16th May 2022

April 25 2022, Marcus Schenk

After more than three years, we are once again about to enjoy a total lunar eclipse. It is a memorable experience when the full moon gradually disappears from the sky, smouldering with an unearthly rust-coloured glow.

This year, we are only able to view the first partial phase up until the start of the totality. You can find everything you need to know in the “Brief information about the total lunar eclipse” infographic.

We wish you a very happy lunar experience! With the naked eye, a telescope or binoculars.


Useful products for the lunar eclipse

Do you have a telescope and want to quickly and easily photograph the Moon? The Omegon Easy-Pic smartphone adapter is ideally suited to this. Simply attach it to the eyepiece and lock your smartphone in place –  and you’ll soon have a lasting memory of this unique experience.

Smartphoneadapter für die Mondfinsternis

Our infographic provides the most important information about the current lunar eclipse. When the Moon shines red in the sky, it shines several magnitudes less bright. Photographing it with a long enough focal length without a telescope can be a challenge – especially during totality. Is there a simple solution? Yes. The Omegon Mini Track. Although most often used for the Milky Way and deep sky astronomy, it is also an excellent tool here. Tracking provides sharp images of the red Moon.

Die MiniTrack nimmt auch eine Mondfinsternis auf

Of course, every telescope and every pair of handheld binoculars are suitable for observation. Take a look at our product pages – you can find a suitable device for every type of observation.

Like our infographic? You can share and print out our graphic, hang it in your observatory for visitors or create a link to it on your website (at: www.astroshop.eu).

Want to soak up some of the atmosphere? In this blog post, you can see images of the lunar eclipse created by our colleagues in 2018.