Finally got some time to create an animation of my stay last July at the Tivoli Southern Sky Guest Farm, Namibia. I combined a fisheye timelapse with astrophotos and photos of the farm and surroundings.
Equipment used: 4.5mm Sigma fisheye, Canon EF 15mm/2.8 fisheye, Canon EF 35mm/1.4L, Canon EF 135mm/2L, Canon EF 200mm/2.8L, Canon EOS 1000D (modified), 40D and 350D, Canon Powershot S95 and AstroTrac 320X-AG mount. The allsky timelapse was shot 26/27 July, other photos between 23 and 31 July.
Wow, very clear skies from dusk till dawn. Imaged a lot of different objects. High number of (delta Aquarid) meteors. Temperatures dropped to -5°C but without the wind this was pretty comfortable. A great end to the night was viewing the Tarantula nebula through both the 20″ Obsession and Achim’s 17″ dobson. Truly spectacular.
Atmospheric conditions were not that good this night. Eventually thin (dark!) clouds moved in and we went to sleep early. Not a bad thing though to catch extra sleep. Managed to get a first (poor quality) picture of comet Garradd.
Again a great night. The allsky camera caught 5 fireballs over a 12 hour period. Wandered around the grounds and shot a couple of portraits of the dobson guys. On the left Michael with the 20″ Obsession and to the right Achim with his homemade ultra leightweight 17″ dobson.
This night we had less wind but it was colder. When I went outside to shutdown the fisheye and Watec meteor camera it was -7°C. The laptop was covered in ice. Apart from the Milky Way and all kinds of deepsky objects like the Magellanic clouds, the zodiacal light with Regulus and Mercury and the gegenschein are visible.
During the day the sky quality was not very good; hazy with lots of dust. However, during dinner (Springbok with red cabbage and rice) the very strong wind made it disappear completely. Temperature dropped to just below 0°C. Spent some time with Michael and Hubert observing with the 50cm dobson. Omega Centauri, galaxy Centaurus A, 47 Tucanae, Tarantula nebula: indescribable! New personal record in SQM value: 21,86. Also the first time I saw the Cirrus nebula in Cygnus with my 8.5 x 42 binoculars.
Photography was a bit of a challenge with these strong winds (Bft 5), but nevertheless managed to capture a fairly decent image of the Scorpius-Ophiuchus region. Canon EOS 1000D (modded) and Canon EF 35mm/1.4L at F/2.8, 14×5 min. at ISO800 on AstroTrac mount.