Helmeringhausen, Namibia. May&June 2012

Helmeringhausen, May&June 2012

Welcome to Carpe Noctem’s publication of the results of the May&June 2012 astronomical observations of the southern skies in Helmeringhausen, Namibia.

What is there to do here?

  • View Pictures! The pages here contain links to images that I took during my observations. There is page with Top20 Astro Images, a list sorted by astronomical catalogue and also non-astronomical daylight fotos. The astro images usually the images come in various sizes, suitable for your bandwidth.
  • Read! See below.
  • Like, Share and Comment! The features of this wordpress web site allow various social interactions.
  • Revisit! There is a page that lists all the new publications in reverse timely order. So it is easy to come back after a month or so to catch up with what’s new.

I spent the two months of May and June 2012 in the little farm settlement of Helmeringhausen, Namibia, to carry out broad observations of the southern sky with my astronomical equipment. I observed several hundred deep sky objects, for example completing my observations of the Messier, Caldwell and Melotte catalogues. “Observation” here means visual observation with an eye piece through a telescope but also photographic observation, i.e. imaging with an astro-modified Canon 450D DSLR camera through a telescope.

Helmeringhausen is a tiny settlement in Namibia‘s Karas region. It consists of the Helmeringhausen Hotel and Guest Farm, a garage&petrol station and the Helmering Winkel and Bottle Store. It measures merely 400×400 metres, lies at an altitude of roughly 1,350m asl and has stable weather conditions suitable for astronomy through the months May to September. Less than 30 people live in Helmeringhausen permanently. Light pollution is minimal. The next bigger settlement is Bethanie, 6,000 or so inhabitants, 80km away. The largest city in the area is Keetmanshoop, ca. 250km away. Nearby tourist attractions are the wild horses of Aus, Duwisib Castle, Fish River Canyon.

The results of my observations are published on two individual pages, one is sorted by astronomical criteria such as catalogues (“by catalogue”) and the other is sorted in reverse timely order of the day of the publication (“latest first”). The second page is intended for people who frequently check out this page and want to get a quick pverview of what is new since they visited it last. Publication of the individual results will take many months because it involved picture post-processing and the collection of information about the objects that can be seen in the images.

Every observation is available in up to three different levels of quality: small, medium and full size. Choose the link according to your bandwidth and how much detail in the picture you want to view. Small images (not larger than 1Mb) are hosted here on DeepSkyPedia. Medium images are on Facebook and are available even when you are not a Facebook member. The full size images are located on Microsoft’s Skydrive. After following the link there, click “view original” or “download” to get the original, uncompressed image file.

Some of the publications have a touristic focus on Helmeringhausen and Namibia and provide a nice addendum to the astronomical publications.

Publications are rated by a one to three star system, i.e. star or starstar or starstarstar. This is meant to provide the occasional reader with an indication where to go first. The rating is a combination of many aspects such as beauty of the object shown, how famous it is and how well the image turned out to be. The rating is highly subjective and you may come to a different judgement, of course.

Now please select one of the following to view the publications.

by catalogue latest first

Special credits and thanks for supporting me and making this project possible go to the following parties: Nestor dela Cruz Jr for his patience and understanding, the Basler family of the Helmeringhausen Hotel&Guest Farm in Namibia for the efforts and interest in my undertaking, Jens-Uwe Köhler for telescope mount maintenance, lending of the Lacerta M-Gen auto-guider and countless tips on astro-photography and Namibia, Karsten Walzel for the sun protection foil, the Kühne&Nagel forwarding company for handling my equipment very professionally, DeepSkyPedia and the people behind it for hosting some of my images.

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