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Swarovski / Kahles Roadshow 2023: we were there!

October 5 2023, Stefan Rieger

Last Monday the time had come: Swarovski Optik Germany invited the hunting trade to a roadshow in the 4-star Panorama Hotel Waldenburg, close to Schwäbisch Hall in Germany. The invitation was extended to at least 30 specialist dealers and so naturally we also went along to watch the latest product innovations from the Swarovski and Kahles brands being presented in detail, allowing us to become acquainted with the most important product features.

Of course, we want to share this experience with you. The following products were presented: Swarovski  Z8i+ series of rifle scopes, Kahles K18i-2 rifle scope , Kahles TI+ thermal cameras, Swarovski  EL Range 32 binoculars and the new universal  VPA 2 smartphone adapter including adapter rings.

Let us take a look at the products in detail:

Swarovski Z8i+ riflescopes:
Especially designed for the driven hunt or stalking to ensure the widest possible field of view and excellent viewing comfort. Swarovski Zielfernrohr Z8i+: Profi für die DrückjagdAvailable in two versions and with different reticles. 0.75-6×20 and 1-8×24. Both models offer optimal viewing comfort thanks to a large eyepiece diameter of more than 51mm. As soon as you take position with your weapon you can immediately locate the target. The 0.75 models offer a field of view of max. 64.4 m/100 meters. The models with the 1-8x magnification offer a field of view of up to 50 metres. Two throw levers are included for quick magnification changes. You can choose to fit either the black or orange coloured lever. The models with the 4A-IF reticle are particularly interesting. In addition to the classic 4A reticle, you can also superimpose an illuminated ring over the centre. This helps with target acquisition and determining the correct lead distance.

KAHLES K18i-2 1-8×24: This rifle scope was developed in collaboration with leading sports shooters from the IPSC and 3-gun disciplines. Kahles Zielfernrohr für IPSC-Schützen K18i-2 1-8x24The special 3GR reticle with several aiming points allows you to stay on the spot at different distances without needing to make any elevation adjustment. In addition, the customer also benefits from a stable 34mm centre tube and the large 50m field of view at 100m distance. It also features a fantastic view through the large eye box. This model also comes with two different throw levers, although in this case they do not differ in colour but in size.



Kahles Hela TI+ WärmebildkamerasKAHLES TI+ Thermal Cameras: This new series of thermal imaging cameras focuses on the essentials of hunting. All the necessary settings can be made with just two buttons. A Wi-Fi connection, photo or video mode have been deliberately omitted to keep its operation as simple as possible. The new VOx sensor delivers high 640 x 512 pixel resolution with a pixel size of 12 microns and a NETD of < 20 mK. This ensures images are rich in detail and with excellent contrast. The user can choose between Black Hot, White Hot, and Red Only colour modes. The special housing design prevents the device from rolling. An automatic standby switch, triggered by a tilt and motion sensor, protects the battery and prevents the face from being illuminated when the device is removed from the eye. Available with a 35mm lens for a long range of up to 2,479 metres, or a 18mm lens for a wide field of view of 44m/100m.

Swarovski EL Range 32:

EL Range 32 - Leichtes Fernglas mit Entfernungsmesser

These new binoculars with rangefinder especially surprised us with its low weight of less than 700 grammes. They are available in 8×32 and 10×32. Besides, the design is also an essential feature of this binoculars. The narrow connecting bridge and the omission of a front connecting bridge, as with the 42 models, make it extremely easy to use, even with large hands or gloves. Another advantage is the ability to freely assign functions to the two operating keys. This makes them much easier to use, especially for left-handed users. Of course, this model also offers the familiar tracking assistant, which helps, for example, when narrowing down the target area. The binoculars can be configured to your personal requirements using the EL RANGE configurator app and offer a measuring range of 9 – 1,500 metres. We would especially recommend these to mountain hunters, or hunters who want to keep their equipment as light as possible and do not need to use the binoculars right up till the last light fades. The optional FRR forehead rest increases image stability, especially after a strenuous climb.

Last but not least, we have something for DIGISCOPING fans: Swarovski has updated its universal adapter and presented the VPA 2. Neuer universeller Smartphoneadapter: Swarovski VPA 2With its generous dimensions and prominent lens units, it is now also suitable for modern smartphones. In addition, its operation has been significantly simplified and the mechanics improved. The adjustment device for selecting the right lens is now mechanically more stable and the adapter ring is much easier to attach. There are three different clamp adapters that can be used for different binoculars by means of inner rings. These must be ordered as an optional extra.

CA-Bs for all CL series binoculars (Companion, Nomad, Mountain, Curio and Pocket)Swarovski Klemmadapter für den VPA 2

CA-B for all EL, EL Range, NL Pure and SLC series of binoculars and the BTX eyepiece module

CA-S for ATX/STX, ATC/STC, ATS/STS series spotting scopes and the STR spotting scope.
It is not recommended for the CTS.

These new products will become fully available during October. Secure your new model soon, we expect supply bottlenecks when deliveries begin.

Infographic: Astronomy Highlights of Summer 2023

May 31 2023, Marcus Schenk

Observing in summer! This means warm temperatures, but also some interesting constellations and the visible part of the Milky Way. In this infographic you will find all the important astronomical events in the summer of 2023 that you really should not miss. How about Saturn at opposition, or the Perseids shooting stars which we can enjoy this year without any interference by the Moon?

Whether you are an experienced amateur astronomer or a complete beginner to the field of astronomy: the astronomy events in our infographic offer something for everyone.

We wish you lots of observing fun!

02/06 Mars near M44

There is an interesting encounter in the evening sky at the moment: Mars, the Red Planet, can be found close to the M44 cluster, and the pair offers a beautiful view. The constellation is easy to see, especially at dusk close to the western horizon. But it is not only Mars that is attracting attention: at a distance of around 10 degrees, Venus is also close by.

09/06 Conjunction between the Moon and Saturn 

A very special performance is awaiting us in the sky this morning: the Moon and Saturn meet in the constellation of Aquarius and provide us with an impressive sight. Jupiter can also be seen nearby which rounds off the spectacle perfectly.

13/06 Venus near M44 

On 13 June, Venus will be in close proximity to the open cluster M44, which is also known as the Beehive Cluster. It’s great when you can combine such an astronomical event with some deep sky observation.

14/06 Conjunction between the Moon and Jupiter

On 14 June, just four days after its meeting with Saturn, the Moon will be spending some time with the planet Jupiter. This beautiful dawn sight is worth getting up early for, because the Moon appears as a delicate sickle and will soon reach its new Moon phase.

21.06 Beginning of summer 

Summer begins with the summer solstice on 21 June. In the northern hemisphere this means that the Sun reaches its highest point in the sky. We cannot actually observe this astronomical event, but we are now experiencing the longest days and the shortest nights.

21/ 22.06 Conjunction between Venus and Mars 

21 June is a day that you should be certain to make a note of in advance. This evening, above the western horizon, Venus and Mars meet up with the narrow crescent Moon. This trio is especially impressive when it is not yet completely dark, and we can also enjoy the twilight sky.

27.06 June Bootids 

From 23 to 28 June you can observe the June Bootids meteor shower. These shooting stars radiate from a point in the constellation of Boötes and fizzle comparatively slowly across the sky. The number of meteors is small but also variable. This means that it is particularly interesting to take a closer look.

01.07 Conjunction between Venus and Mars

Our two neighbouring planets, Venus and Mars, meet on 1 July. These two celestial bodies differ greatly in brightness, which makes them especially interesting to observe. You should not miss this opportunity if you are a big Mars fan, because the Red Planet will disappear from the celestial stage this month, and remain invisible for the rest of the year.

07.07 Conjunction between the Moon and Saturn

The Moon and Saturn rise above the horizon at the beginning of the second half of the night, and accompany us through till sunrise. Both celestial bodies can be found in the constellation of Aquarius.

09.07 Venus at its brightest

Venus reaches its maximum brightness on 9 July, and looks almost like a spotlight in the sky – an impressive spectacle for amateur astronomers.

12.07 Conjunction between the Moon and Jupiter

Jupiter rises on 12 July at 01:23, and reveals itself beside a slim, waning crescent Moon.

20.07 Conjunction between the Moon, Venus, and Mars

Another fascinating event awaits us in the night sky on 20 July. The wafer-thin crescent Moon approaches Venus and, together with Mars, forms an attractive group of three. However, you will need an uninterrupted view towards the horizon to successfully observe this. If you want to enjoy this sight or even take pictures, you should find a good spot as early as possible. A tip for the professionals: the planet Mercury is also located around 10 degrees west of Venus.

22.07 Pluto at opposition 

An astronomical event for more advanced astronomers: Pluto, the dwarf planet former classified as a planet, is at opposition to the Sun on 22 July. With a brightness of magnitude 14, you can only detect and observe it with a large telescope. A location map is advisable! Astrophotographers can take advantage of a good photo opportunity since Pluto is close the M75 cluster.

27.07 Golden Handle 

We can see the Golden Handle on the Moon on the evening of 27 July. It appears when the waxing Moon is exactly 83 percent illuminated, which happens around 10 days after the new Moon. As the light phenomenon takes place, a handle shape emerges on the dark side of the Moon’s terminator.

30.07 Delta Aquariids 

The Delta Aquariids is a meteor shower that originates from the region of the constellation Aquarius, and is visible from 23 to 28 July. We will be able to marvel at up to 25 shooting stars per hour! The optimal observing window is in the early hours of the morning, after the Moon has set.

03.08 Conjunction between the Moon and Saturn

An interesting encounter: the Moon nears the planet Saturn. The ringed planet will reach its opposition to the Sun this month and is therefore an especially good target to observe.

08.08 Conjunction between the Moon and Jupiter 

In the early morning hours, we can enjoy the autumn and the first winter constellations in the night sky. Our largest planet, Jupiter, is to be found right in the middle of them. On the 8th of the month, the Moon approaches the gas giant and they make an arresting pair in the night sky.

12-13.08 Perseids

A view of the Perseids is the top astronomy event not just for astronomers, but also for anyone who is interested in the night sky. An especially large number of meteors fall from the sky over the course of an evening, and everyone can enjoy guessing which direction the next light trail will appear from. It’s finally time to see them again during the night from 12 to 13 August. Grab a blanket or a lounger and something warm to drink, and enjoy the starry sky. If you’re lucky, you’ll see up to 100 meteors per hour this evening. This year there is an added plus: it is almost new Moon, so the night is particularly dark.

27.08 Saturn at opposition

The ringed planet Saturn is at opposition to the Sun on 27 August and can be observed all night long – an absolute highlight for any amateur astronomer.

30.08 Conjunction between the Moon and Saturn

In the night from 30 to 31 of the month, the Moon and Saturn meet at a distance of around 3 degrees. Despite the full Moon, it is always worth observing Saturn.

Infographic: Astronomy Highlights in Spring 2023

March 1 2023, Marcus Schenk

Spring is a great time to take a look at the stars: it’s getting warmer, and the weather in Central Europe is better. And, as always, there are plenty of interesting celestial events to see: a minor planet at opposition, the only time the planet Mercury is visible in the evening, and some beautiful conjunctions between planets and the Moon. In this infographic you’ll learn about the top astronomical events in the night sky during the spring of 2023. There’s no better reason to get outdoors again with your binoculars or telescope.

Events in March

01/03 Conjunction between Venus and Jupiter

On 1 March, you can observe a very special astronomical event: at dusk, Venus and Jupiter draw closer to one another, until they are around a half a degree apart. This is approximately the same distance as the diameter of a full Moon. The encounter is a rare opportunity to marvel at these two bright celestial bodies in the evening sky.

10/3 Ceres near M91 

Today Ceres intersects the bright spiral galaxy known as M91, thereby offering us the rare opportunity to admire both the minor planet and the galaxy simultaneously with our telescope. Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

The planet has a diameter of around 950km which is about the length of Spain. Ceres was considered to be a planet following its discovery in around 1801, and it was only later re-defined as a minor planet. Ceres thus faced a very similar fate in its classification as Pluto did in 2006.

A closer inspection by the Dawn Spacecraft discovered many craters, most of which are only small. Water vapour was even discovered there in 2015, and further research suggested that there may be liquid water under the surface. So, we can say with certainty: it’s a very interesting celestial body! Use your telescope to enjoy the rare sight of Ceres and M91 together!

14/03 Conjunction between the Moon and Antares 

Today is a good day for early risers: the Moon nears Antares, the brightest star in the constellation of Scorpio, at a distance of just 1.5 degrees. You can only observe and enjoy the meeting of these two in the morning hours. So, maybe on your way to work?

21/03 Ceres at opposition

Have you ever observed a minor planet? Ceres, which was discovered in 1801, is the largest object in the asteroid belt. It’s at opposition now, and its brightness reaches a magnitude of 7. You can locate it with small telescopes and, theoretically, even with binoculars. Have fun!

24/03 Conjunction between the Moon and Venus

The delicate sickle Moon rises above the western horizon, serving as the perfect complement to gleaming Venus. With a brightness of magnitude 4, Venus is a wonderful sight at dusk and will entice you outside to look at the stars tonight. Less than 3 degrees separate these two celestial bodies, which guarantees a particularly beautiful sight. It’s always an impressive natural wonder when the Moon meets Venus, especially if you’re planning to capture it with your camera.

25/03 Conjunction between Ceres and M100

Make a note of date: the minor planet Ceres crosses another deep sky object! Its path takes it past the breath-taking galaxy M100 in the constellation of Coma Berenices. Using a finderscope, you can locate it above Denebola, the star that marks the tail of the constellation of Leo.

28/03 Conjunction between the Moon and Mars

Tonight, the Moon and the planet Mars can be found very close together. Observing these two celestial bodies framed by the stars of the Winter Hexagon is a truly impressive sight.

Events in April

03/04 Mercury in the evening sky 

Mercury is a nimble planet as its orbit is located close the Sun. This usually makes it difficult to observe, because it only rarely escapes the brightness of our central star. The only evening visibility this year occurs in April: Mercury reveals itself a few degrees above the western horizon between 3 and 15 April.

10/04 Conjunction between the Moon and Antares 

Tonight, the Moon is in the constellation of Scorpio and nears the bright supergiant star Antares. This occasion takes place in the morning hours. But a further event awaits us: the occultation of the magnitude 3 star by our Moon. At 04:52, the bright side of our satellite moves towards the star and occults it for around an hour. We will not be able to see the star’s reappearance on the other side of the Moon, as, by this time, it will already be daylight.

16/04 Conjunction between the Moon and Saturn 

Keep an eye out if you’re an early riser: this morning we are greeted by the waning crescent Moon and the planet Saturn above the eastern horizon. You’ll need to choose a place with a good view of the horizon to observe this.

22/04 Conjunction between the Moon and Venus

Tonight, we can observe a really special spectacle: a conjunction between the Moon and Venus. The Moon is just 2.5 days old, so we only see a slender sickle form. Venus, on the other hand, shines brightly at more than magnitude 4, so it appears especially bright in the evening sky.

22/04 The Lyrids

On 22 April, at its maximum, the Lyrid meteor shower produces up to 20 meteors per hour.  The meteors can be observed undisturbed by moonlight during the best observation time which is between 22:00 and 04:00 next morning. Their point of origin, also known as the radiant, is located in the constellation of Lyra.

25/04 Conjunction between the Moon and Mars

Today, the Moon and Mars can be seen in the constellation of Gemini. This is a rare sight not to be missed.

Events in May

13/05 Conjunction between the Moon and Saturn

This morning the Moon nears the planet Saturn. Such a lovely sight is certain to get us motivated for the day ahead.

23/05 Conjunction between the Moon and Venus 

Venus – almost as bright as a spotlight in the night sky – together with the slender crescent Moon. This is exactly what you will see if you look up at the sky this evening. What’s more: a little higher you’ll find Mars too. When compared to its two colleagues, it seems to be really dimly lit.

24/05 Conjunction between the Moon and Mars 

Whereas the Moon visited Venus yesterday, today it is calling on the planet Mars.

26/05 Conjunction between the Moon and Regulus 

If you have been observing the Moon in recent days, you will have noticed how quickly it moves against the background of stars. Today it meets Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation of Leo. The name Regulus comes from Latin and means ‘little king’.

31/05 Conjunction between the Moon and Spica

Today, the Moon meets the brightest star in the constellation of Virgo: Spica. We owe this coincidence to the path of the ecliptic, which repeatedly leads the Moon into the vicinity of this star. The best observation time starts in the late twilight, because Virgo will disappear below the horizon in the second half of the night.

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!


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


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


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

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!


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


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


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

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!


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.


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!


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.

Astronomy Highlights Spring 2022

March 1 2022, Marcus Schenk

Close conjunctions between planets, a bright Venus and a total lunar eclipse: In this quarter, the heavens are offering up some delicious morsels which are worth viewing. What’s happening with Mercury, for example? The small, nimble planet will soon reach its best evening visibility.

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

Have fun observing!


08/03 Conjunction between the Moon and the Pleiades

This evening, the six-day-old Moon approaches the Pleiades open star cluster.

12/03 Conjunction between Venus and Mars

Shortly before sunrise, Venus and Mars can be seen over the south-eastern horizon. Venus is almost half-illuminated and shining with a magnitude of magnitude -4.5

20/03 Venus at greatest western elongation

Venus is at its greatest western elongation today. It, therefore, reaches its greatest angular distance from the Sun and can maintain an acceptable altitude above the horizon. It is now 50% illuminated.

23/03 Conjunction between Saturn and Mars

Just above the horizon, we can look forward to an attractive celestial display. Venus, Mars and Saturn are waiting for us in a planetary triangle. A good opportunity to compare their various magnitudes.

28/03 Conjunction between the Moon, Venus, Saturn and Mars

On 23 March, we are able to marvel at three planets. Today the slender crescent moon is keeping the trio company. Grab your camera and capture this beautiful event for ever.


05/04 Conjunction between Mars and Saturn

A rare event? Yes, because this morning Mars is passing by the ringed planet at a distance of only 20 arc seconds. A good opportunity to view both planets through binoculars or a telescope, or for a photo of both celestial bodies.

05/04 Moon in Davis’ Dog

An asterism is a random collection of stars which we perceive in pretty patterns. Today the Moon brushes past “Davis’ Dog”, a pattern of stars which resembles a dog or a fox. When viewed through binoculars, the sight is very delightful. In some places, the Moon occults bright stars.

17/04 Conjunction between Mercury and Uranus

This evening sees Mercury passing Uranus at a distance of only two degrees. This means you can locate both planets within the visual field of a pair of binoculars. A high vantage point is desirable since the planets are only 4 degrees above the horizon at 9pm.

24/04 Mercury in the evening sky

Mercury achieves its best evening visibility this year. Do you still want to see it? Then the time is now. At dusk, it can be found just above the western and north-western horizon. But only for the next 10 to 14 days, before it disappears.

27/04 Conjunction between Venus and Jupiter

Three days before the new Moon, its narrow crescent comes into conjunction with the planets Venus and Jupiter.

29/04 Conjunction between Mercury and the Pleiades

The winter constellation of Taurus goes down in the west. In the twilight, Mercury approaches the well-known Pleiades star cluster. You can marvel at both in the visual field of a pair of binoculars.


01/05 Conjunction between Venus and Jupiter

At a distance of barely 20 arc seconds, Venus “scrapes” past Jupiter. Such a close encounter is seldom seen. The only downside is that you have to drag yourself out of bed early as it can only be seen in the morning sky.

02/05 Conjunction between the Moon and Mercury

For those who prefer to observe in the evenings, you can catch a last glimpse of Mercury today. The spectacle takes place just above the western horizon but is especially attractive. A delicate waxing crescent moon to the left and, to the right, the Pleiades.

12/05 Venus, Jupiter, Mars in alignment

Shortly before dawn, we can see Venus, Jupiter and Mars sitting in a neat row. A little further up, we can also find Saturn. The band of planets stretches from the eastern horizon almost diagonally across the sky.

16/05 Total lunar eclipse

The last visible lunar eclipse took place in January 2019. Three years later, the event is repeating itself. However, visibility for the current eclipse is sadly not optimal. We cannot fully follow it, only the first part. The Moon enters the Earth’s umbral shadow at 04:28. At this time, our satellite is still 8 degrees above the horizon. Just at the start of the totality, the Moon goes down in the southwest. We won’t be able to see another total lunar eclipse until 2025 – and that will be in the evening.

28/05 Tau Herculids

The Tau Herculids are a meteor shower which we have not previously recommended in our Astronomy Highlights. Why? They are usually barely noticeable and not so exciting with a maximum of two meteors per hour. Only avid meteor fans get anything out of them. But this year could be different. This year, the Earth crosses paths with the trail of dust left by the disintegrating 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 comet in 1995. This year, it could be quite the shower. The International Meteor Organisation (IMO) is encouraging people to collect observational data.

29/05 Conjunction between Mars and Jupiter

At three in the morning, Mars and Jupiter climb above the horizon. It will be immediately apparent that we are dealing with a very close conjunction here. The two planets pass each other at a distance of around 0.5 degrees. When viewed through binoculars, they will appear as a stunning pair in the same visual field.

Astronomy Highlights in Winter 2021/22

December 3 2021, Marcus Schenk

The highlights of the winter sky are the bright stars around the constellations Orion and Taurus. But the next three months also offer us more to discover: a bright evening star, meteor showers and a beautiful necklace made of planets.

In the “Astronomy Highlights in Winter 2021/22” infographic, you will find many important celestial events at a glance. Information and further explanations of the events can be found in the accompanying text.

We wish you lots of observing pleasure.


4 December Bright Venus

Venus is at its brightest at the beginning of this month. At mag -4.8, it stands out in the evening sky now and is, after the Moon, the brightest object in the sky.

7 December The Moon near Venus

In the early evening sky, the waxing crescent Moon joins an attractive planetary parade. Venus, Jupiter and Saturn are visible, looking almost like a pearl necklace.

8 December The Moon near Saturn and Jupiter

Those who sighted the Moon yesterday will discover it higher and about 14 degrees distant today, between Saturn and Jupiter.

13 December Geminids

If the sky is clear in the evening, you should take a look towards the south. There you will find the Geminids meteor shower, appearing to emerge from the constellation Gemini. More precisely: from a point two degrees above the star Pollux. The best time for observing it is between 21:00 and 06:00. With 120 meteors per hour, the Geminids are among the most prolific meteor showers. This year we have to wait until the morning hours to observe undisturbed and with no Moon.

17 December The Moon occults Tau (τ) Tauri

Tau Tauri is a star in the constellation Taurus and, at magnitude 4.3, it is visible with the naked eye. Since the Moon’s orbit appears to run through Taurus, occultations often occur. This is the case today: at 22:30 Tau Tauri disappears behind the almost full Moon and appears around 80 minutes later on the other side.

29 December Mercury near Venus

Mercury begins to be visible in the evening and meets with neighbouring planet Venus at dusk. If you have a good view of the horizon, you will discover both planets from 17:00.


3 January Quadrantids

The Quadrantids are a meteor shower originating from the constellation Boötes. The new year brings us up to 100 meteors per hour, but they are only moderately bright. The radiant, from where the shooting stars seem to originate, does not appear until after midnight. The new Moon was just yesterday, making astronomical observations particularly worthwhile right now.  Green light for all deep sky observers!

5 January The Moon nears Mercury, Saturn and Jupiter

Planet fans will be delighted: at dusk you can see a beautiful chain of planets consisting of Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury. The three-day-old crescent Moon accompanies the trio. A lovely way to welcome the new year.

6 January The Moon occults Tau (τ) Aquarii

It’s still twilight and we’re waiting for the night to come. But the first astronomical highlight is already taking place. At 17:00, the Moon occults the mag 4 bright star Tau Aquarii in the constellation Aquarius. In this occultation, the Moon approaches from its unlit side.

8 January Mercury in the evening sky

Over the last few days, Mercury has become increasingly visible in the evening sky. It’s not exactly bombastic, but for those who would like to see reclusive Mercury, now is a great opportunity. Today and for the next two days, the conditions are particularly good, because its brightness and altitude in the sky are aligned. Soon Mercury will sink back toward the horizon and disappear.

11 January The Moon near Uranus

The planet Uranus is a distant agent in the solar system. Today, it is just 2.5 degrees from the Moon. Try your luck with a pair of binoculars.

26 January The Moon occults Alpha (α) Librae

This is something for early risers only: an occultation by the Moon of a star in the constellation Libra. More specifically, the Moon occults the mag 2.7 bright double star Alpha Librae. It gets going at 6:40!

29 January The Moon near Mars

Those with a great craving for the planet Mars will be able to see it at dawn in the south-east on 29 January. On this day there is an attractive meet-up with the narrow crescent Moon. You won’t catch another glimpse of Mars in the night sky until the coming summer.


3 February The Moon near Jupiter

Jupiter accompanied us last year and was visible every evening in the sky. But soon it will escape our gaze and disappear from the sky for a while. On 3 February, it reveals itself once more in the twilight in a duo together with the delicate crescent Moon.

7 February The Moon near Uranus

Tonight, the Moon passes the planet Uranus at a distance of just 1.5 degrees.

9 February The Moon passes the Golden Gate of the Ecliptic

The area between the Hyades and the Pleiades has a name: the Golden Gate of the Ecliptic. Today, the Moon is a nocturnal wayfarer between the two well-known star clusters.

9 February Bright Venus

Venus lives up to its title of the Morning Star. Because with almost mag -5, it is radiantly bright. This astronomical spotlight appears above the horizon at around 05:00. It shines so brightly that no one can miss it.

27 February The Moon near Mars and Venus

Bright Venus, red Mars and a slender crescent Moon, just before the new Moon. What a great motivation to take a very early morning look at the sky. A peaceful morning mood is guaranteed.


Astro-highlights – Summer 2021

June 4 2021, Marcus Schenk

A solar eclipse after six years, the large planets in opposition and the August meteor shower is visible without any moonlight.

If you’re not looking at the stars this summer, you’re missing something. The sky chart “Astro-highlights – Summer 2021” shows you all the significant celestial events at a glance so that you don’t miss anything. Additional information about these events can be found below the graphic.

We wish you lots of observing pleasure!


10/6 Partial solar eclipse

The last partial solar eclipse in Europe was visible on 20 March 2015. The Moon covered up to 80% of the Sun’s disk then. The next solar eclipse occurs on 10 June. It is an annular solar eclipse visible in Greenland and Northern Canada, and partially visible in Central Europe. It is relatively unspectacular, only covering a few percent of the Sun.  The further north you are, the higher the degree of the eclipse. In Munich, only 6.3% of the lunar limb touches the Sun, whereas in Hamburg it is 17.3%. The eclipse begins at 11:35a.m. and ends at 13:22 (depending on the exact location). Caution: Only observe the Sun with a suitable solar filter, which you can purchase from our online shop.

Degree of coverage at our Astroshop sites:

Landsberg, Germany: 6.56%

Marseille, France: 2.7%

Malaga, Spain: 1.3%

Warsaw, Poland: 9.9%

Hasselt/Genk, Belgium: 14.9%

Aveiro, Portugal: 9%

Palermo, Italy: 0%

12/6 The Moon meets Venus

The faint waxing crescent Moon and brilliant Venus appear low to the west shortly after sunset. To the upper left, you will discover Mars. If you are observing with binoculars, a short diagonal sweep to the upper left will bring you to the Beehive Cluster M44.

13/6 The Moon meets Mars

Today the Moon rises higher and joins the planet Mars, which it passes at a distance of 1.8 degrees. Both make a beautiful view through binoculars.

27/6 June Bootids

The June Bootids meteor shower originates in the Boötes constellation. The number of falling stars is small but variable. There have been years in which no meteors were sighted at all, but there have also been occurrences of 100 per hour. This meteor shower is exciting and worth taking a closer look at.

27/6 The Moon meets Saturn

Those who want to see the big gas giants will have to wait until midnight in June. Saturn is currently in the constellation of Capricorn, the horned mountain goat that climbs the meridian at the peak of the sky before dawn. The Moon passes Saturn today at a distance of about 9 degrees.

29/6 The Moon meets Jupiter

On its way along the ecliptic this morning, the Moon passes about 5 degrees below Jupiter. The large differences in brightness between the Moon, Jupiter, Saturn and the brightest stars are interesting to observe.


8/7 The Moon meets Mercury

Mercury hovers low over the horizon in the morning sky for the next few days. We can observe it with a perfect horizon view well after 4a.m., close above a flat landscape. The crescent Moon joins it 2.5 degrees above. The new Moon is in two days’ time.

12/7 The Moon meets Venus and Mars

As dusk falls, the Moon and the two planets Venus and Mars make for a delightful sight. The pouncing Leo seemingly about to snap at the three objects. You can admire both celestial bodies through binoculars in one field of view. It’s also a great opportunity to take a photo at dusk.

18/7 Pluto in opposition

Pluto is a dwarf planet that is not easily visible and a challenge for larger telescopes.  Once the 9th planet, it was stripped of its planetary dignity in 2006, but of course our enthusiasm for the solar system’s outpost remains undiminished. If you want to set your sights on it, the best time to do so is during its opposition. Use your GoTo mount’s controller and a star chart to distinguish it from the background stars.

Coordinates for GoTo controller (23:59 CEST): RA: 19h49m59s, Dec: -22°38′

19/7 Golden Handle

The Golden Handle of the Moon? It does exist, but only during a certain lunar phase. Appearing like a handle of light, it is an effect caused by light on the lunar surface, along the terminator line. We are gazing at the Mare Imbrium in the Sinus Iridum crater region and the Montes Jura. Here, the sun rises at the day-night boundary. While the crater is still in darkness, the peaks of Montes Jura catch the sunlight at their summits. A golden ring in the darkness. Best seen between 18:00 and 21:30 CEST.

20/7 The Moon meets Antares

This evening, the Moon remains to the east of the star Antares. It is a red supergiant and shines bright with a reddish hue in the night sky. Its diameter is 700 times greater than that of our Sun and it would swallow some planets, including our Earth, if it were to take the place of our own celestial body.

21/7 Venus meets Regulus

With a good view of the horizon, you will discover Venus at the foot of the constellation Leo after sunset. In the immediate vicinity you will find the star Alpha Leonis, better known as Regulus. The name means  “little King” or “prince”. If you’re thinking of little Simba and the Lion King, you’re probably right.

24/7 The Moon meets Saturn

Shortly before midnight, the constellation of Capricorn appears above the horizon. It is easily recognised by its bowl-like shape. The Moon passes below Saturn at a distance of 4.6 degrees on this night. If you focus on Saturn with binoculars, you will notice a magnitude 5.8 star on your left.

25/7 The Moon meets Jupiter

One day after its encounter with Saturn, the Moon meets Jupiter in the constellation of Aquarius. On this night, the two celestial bodies are separated by 5.5 degrees. Next month, the two gas giants will be in opposition to the Sun.

28/7 Delta Aquariids

The Delta Aquariids are a meteoroid stream that appear to originate in Aquarius. With around 25 meteors per hour, however, it trails far behind the August meteor shower in terms of prominence. Because the Moon phase is very high, the only suitable time for observation is before moonrise.


1/8 Jupiter’s moon Ganymede covers Europa

If you take a look through a telescope after Jupiter rises, you will notice the two moons of Jupiter, Europa and Ganymede.  Like double stars, they appear close to each other. At 0:00 CEST, Ganymede partially obscures the somewhat smaller Europa, and at around 2:00 CEST, the two moons go their separate ways again.

2/8 Saturn in opposition

Due to the low position of the ecliptic plane, Saturn has remained low above the horizon in recent years. In 2019, it reached a height of about 20 degrees. During its opposition this year, we can observe it at an altitude of 24 degrees. Over the next few years, Saturn will continue to climb higher. The higher its position, the less we have to contend with atmospheric air turbulence.

On 2 August it reaches its opposition and shines brightly in the sky with a magnitude of 0.1. In doing so, it competes with the brightest stars. We recognise it by its yellowish colour and calm glow. Its ring opening is 18 degrees and if we look at the ring system from the north, we can easily identify the Cassini division.

11/8 The Moon meets Venus

A gaze into the evening twilight is well worth it, Venus shines brightly low in the west with the narrow crescent Moon just above it.

12/8 Perseids

Enjoy the most beautiful shooting stars of the year. The Perseids can be seen at their best this year, there will be a new Moon and dark skies all night while we observe them. The meteor shower is most intense during the morning hours of 12 August. At this time, up to 100 shooting stars fall through our atmosphere each hour at a speed of approximately 216,000 km/h. The best observation time is between 22:00 and 4:00 CEST.

18/8 Mars meets Mercury

An extremely close encounter for seasoned observers. At dusk on 18 August, Mars and Mercury meet only about 3 degrees above the horizon. The sun is barely below the horizon at this time.

20/8 Jupiter in opposition

You can already see Jupiter rising flat in the east at twilight, at magnitude -2.8, a bright object that is hard to miss. But the evening sky has even more to offer in terms of conspicuous objects; the moon and Saturn in close proximity and radiant Venus close above the western horizon.

Today, Jupiter draws all the attention – it is in opposition to the Sun and can be admired all night long. It is now separated from Earth by 600 million kilometres and the light takes just over half an hour to reach us. Its apparent diameter is 49″, it reaches its meridian passage and thus its best visibility and highest position at 1:14 CEST.

Astronomy highlights in summer 2020

May 27 2020, Marcus Schenk

Bright comets, fantastic meteors in August and multiple planets at opposition mean that the night sky in summer 2020 is full of astronomical treats.

As early as June, there will be two interesting comets to be seen, namely C/2020 F8 SWAN and C/2017 T2 PanSTARRS. The former is gradually moving from the southern night sky to the northern sky and the latter is maintaining its altitude as a circumpolar object. T2 PanSTARRS is great for telescope viewing – and you can even find it in a great position, right next to a well-known star. More on this later.

We wish you many exciting hours of viewing.


1 June SWAN comet

Spring 2020 was rich in comets, one of the most attractive and brightest of these being the comet C/2020 F8 SWAN. It remained in the southern sky in spring, climbed above the horizon at the end of May and can now be found in the northern sky.

4 June Mercury at greatest eastern elongation

Mercury reaches its greatest eastern elongation which, in this configuration, is 23 degrees. It can be seen in the evening sky just above the north-western horizon. When viewed through a telescope, you can see the planet almost half-illuminated.

5 June Penumbral lunar eclipse

This evening, as much as around 50% of the Moon plunges into the Earth’s penumbral shadow. The resulting penumbral eclipse is interesting astronomically but not spectacular visually, as the Moon is only obscured minimally.

We are unable to track the beginning at 19:45 CEST (17:45 UT) because the Moon is still below the horizon. At 21:24 CEST, at the time of its maximum eclipse, it is visible just above the south-eastern horizon. From now on, we can track its further progression until the Moon leaves the penumbral shadow at 23:04 CEST.

5 June PanStarrs comet

Another interesting comet which certainly warrants a quality photo is C/2017 T2 PanSTARRS. It was discovered on 01/10/2017 and has since been travelling around the Sun on a parabolic trajectory.

It is currently at magnitude 8 and is also visible with small telescopes and large binoculars. On 5 June, it will be visible at a distance of 1 degree from the bright star Dubhe (Alpha Ursae Majoris) in the Plough. It will therefore be very easy to find using any telescope and a wide-angle eyepiece or using a large telescope.

9 June Conjunction between Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon

There is rarely a more beautiful sight than this. At the start of the second half of the night, the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn are rising together over the south-eastern horizon. There are only 3 and 4 degrees between both planets and our satellite and together they make an attractive trio. To the right of this we find the constellation Sagittarius with its summer deep sky objects and, to the left, Capricorn.

13 June Conjunction between the Moon and Mars

From around 3:00 CEST (1:00 UT) we experience a conjunction between Mars and the Moon at an altitude of only 10 degrees above the horizon. A stunning sight, but who is this mysterious visitor? Almost invisible, Neptune joins them and can be found no more than 1.5 degrees above Mars with the help of binoculars.

19 June The Moon occults Venus

It is a rare event when the Moon slips in front of Venus today and occults it. However, this event is taking place during the day. But does this mean that you cannot somehow observe it? You can, but this event is more for experienced observers. At 9:55 CEST the Moon, with its narrow crescent shape, slips in front of Venus. Caution: The Sun is around 20 degrees to the east! Never look directly at the Sun with your eyes or using an optical instrument.

27 June June Bootids

The June Bootids meteor shower originates from the constellation Bootes. The number of falling meteors is small but variable. There have been years in which no meteors have been seen, however rates of 100 per hour have been seen on occasion. Because these meteors cause excitement, it is worth taking a closer look.


5 July Conjunction between Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon

Once night has fallen, the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn rise, drawing everyone’s gaze towards them at magnitudes of -2.7 and 0.1. Tonight the fully-illuminated Moon joins them, as the Moon was full only yesterday.

8 July Venus at greatest magnitude

Venus is currently located in the constellation Taurus or in the Hyades star cluster. Although it is only 30% illuminated, it is shining at magnitudre -4.4, the brightest magnitude achieved so far this year.

12 July Conjunction between Mars and the Moon

With 2.5 degrees between them, there is a conjunction between Mars and the Moon today. Both are in the constellation Cetus on the border of Pisces and rise after midnight. At sunrise they are 30 degrees above the horizon, they do not reach the meridian as the Sun will have already long risen by then.

12 Conjunction between Venus and Aldebaran

It is a special occurrence when a bright planet passes by a bright star. Events like these are very eye-catching and appealing to observe. On 12 July, Venus passes by the bright star Aldebaran at a distance of only 0.5 degrees. It is to be the closest encounter of any planet with Aldebaran in this century.

14 July Jupiter at opposition

Jupiter rises in the south-east as early as twilight and can be seen as a very bright object. Today it is at opposition to the Sun and can be admired throughout the entire night. A mere 619 million kilometres separate it from Earth and the light requires a little more than half an hour to reach us. Its visible diameter is 47 arc seconds and it crosses the meridian, and therefore achieves its best visibility, at 1:25 CEST (23:25 UT).

16 July Pluto at opposition

The former planet and current dwarf planet is at opposition and is shining at a magnitude of 14.2. Finding it with a telescope which only works with one accurate star chart is a challenge. Pluto is located between Saturn and Jupiter on these days, from which it is only 2 degrees to the west (on the left of the central Telrad ring).

17 July Conjunction between Venus and the Moon

A delightful sight in the morning sky in the form of today’s conjunction between Venus and the very narrow and almost 26-day-old crescent Moon in the constellation Taurus, close to the star Aldebaran.

21 July Saturn at opposition

July is the month of oppositions and today’s offering is Saturn. At magnitude 0.1, it will be shining much more faintly than its prominent colleague, Jupiter. However, Saturn is able to make up for this with its attractive rings, which we are able to see fully exposed in our view.

22 July Mercury at greatest western elongation

Whilst Mercury was at its greatest eastern elongation in June, it is now at its greatest western elongation. This means that it has now become an object in the morning sky, as it now rises before the Sun. From 4:30 CEST (2:30 UT), you should be able to see it at around 3 degrees above the horizon. At this time, the Sun is 8 degrees below the horizon.

28 July Delta Aquariids

The last event this month is the Delta Aquariids. These are shooting stars which appear to come from region containing the constellation Aquarius, at a maximum frequency of 25 per hour. The period after midnight, when the Moon has already gone down, is best suited for their observation.


1 August Conjunction between Jupiter and the Moon

Today there is a conjunction between the 12-day-old and almost full Moon and Jupiter.

9 August Conjunction between the Moon and Mars

This morning the Moon is approaching the planet Mars until it is around 2.75 degrees away. While Mars is in Pisces, the Moon crosses the border from Cetus to Pisces in the morning.

12 August 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, we are able to view them during the first half of the night without it interfering. At 0:30 CEST (22:30 UT) the Moon rises above the horizon, the sky gets brighter and the faint Perseids are drowned out by Moonlight.

13 August Venus at greatest western elongation

Venus is the morning star and is currently at its greatest western elongation at a distance of 45 degrees between it and the Sun. When you view Venus through the telescope, it appears half-illuminated.

13 August Conjunction between the Moon and the Hyades

The Moon is in the constellation Taurus, close to the Hyades star cluster.

15 August Conjunction between Venus and the Moon

Anyone looking up at the sky in the early hours of the morning can see Venus close to the narrow crescent Moon. Both are in the constellation Gemini.

28 Conjunction between Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon

This evening there is a conjunction between the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn in the constellation Sagittarius. The trio is on the left, close to the well-known Teapot asterism. If deep-sky observation is not possible today, how about a tour of the lunar craters, culminating in a glimpse of both rulers of the solar system?