Leeuwenboschfontein weekend 2016 Mar 4-6

The first weekend of March 2016 a special starparty was organized at the Leeuwenboschfontein lodge, a very dark place north of Montagu, Western Cape, South Africa. This was organized by Edward and Lynnette Foster, a retired lecturer in biochemistry who are very active in amateur astronomy in South Africa. They also organize the twice yearly Southern Star Party on a dark camping ground near Bonnievale.


That first night we observed lots of objects with one Orion XT-12, Skywatcher 12" Dobson, a Celestron C14 and my ED110. The guy from the C14 (Louis) had a box full of heavy jars and hand grenades with green print on it which are called eyepieces like the really nice Nagler 31, Ethos 13 and Panoptic 41. Viewing Eta Carina with higher power revealed the star embedded in two lobes around it. We also viewed the Leo Triplet, the Rosette Nebula, 47 Tuc, the Needle Galaxy NGC4565 and many others. I used the Ethos 13 from Louis and popped it behind the Canon 200mm 2.8L and what a great view, even wider than the Nagler 13 ! More than 6 degrees FOV with 15x, the whole Crux constellation fitted in the field even at 15x.

Unfortunately, the subsequent Saturday and Sunday night were cloudy, so we only did observations on Friday the 4th. Sometimes stars popped through the clouds which were really black as there is no light pollution.

Timelapse of observing session of 2016 March 4.