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Skywatch Winter Star Party
with Astroteam Mariazell and WAA
in Mariazell at 1008m Sealevel,

December 13th - 15th 2002

On December 13th my wife and i travelled to Mariazell to participate at the WAA Winterstarparty in the observatory of the "Astroteam Mariazell".This event was a good mixture of relaxing and having fun with astronomers in the beautiful observatory (see here the place

and doing astronomy with top equipment on the "second floor". From astronomy point of view the evening of the 13th was only for watching planets as there where high thin clouds which gave a stable air for planets but not enough light for deepsky objects. During this evening we watched with the 16 inch LX200 mainly the planets Saturn and Jupiter, but only Saturn was high enough to show good details. I tried some images with my digitalcamera, see one example here.

Saturn captured with Olympus 2020Z, single image

The 14th of December had very clear skies the whole day, so we watched during the day protuberances using a 60mm H-alpha filter with the Starfire which is mounted on the LX200 directly and later GŁnther Eder attached his special videocamera to this configuration to show everybody before sunset life protuberances on the TV display.
The evening was clear but there was very bad seeing - so, planets stayed out - and we tried beside some festivities to test how the 16 inch LX200 shows M42 Orion nebula. Find here an example what the Olympus 2020Z Digitalcamera captured after 16 seconds exposure and what comes to view after adding these images to a combined 48 or 112 second exposure and overworking it with Photoshop.
M42 with LX200 16 inch, F6.3 focal reducer, 40mm Eypiece projection, 5x, 3x, 1x 16 seconds exposure with Olympus 2020Z Digitalcamera
112 Second
112 Seconds
48 Seconds
48 Seconds

Next try was M1 Crab Nebula which was not good visible because of to much Moon light. There was also a try to get the "Flame Nebula" with the digitalcamera, so here the result which shows only the brighter part of these objects.
LX200 16 inch, F6.3 Focal reducer, 40mm Eyepiece projection, Olympus 2020Z Digitalcamera
Flame Nebula in Orion
5 x 16 seconds
A more detailed report on all activities plus many more beautiful images see also on Alexander Pikhards homepage (Detailed Report). There are also perfect Webcam images of Saturn and Moon included!

Let me add a great "Thankyou" to our hosts GŁnther Eder and his wife Angelika who showed the real spririt of Mariazeller hospitality. We got perfect support by GŁnther using the astronomical equipment in the observatory and Angelika worked hard and very friendly and organized for us everything a human being needs! We enjoyed very much this 3 days which brought together amateurastronomers during day and night having fun and beautiful views of the sky.