CEDIC team goes Namibia - Introduction
Namibia is certainly one of the most suitable places for astrophotography in the southern hemisphere. For years, there have been farms that cater specifically to astrophotographers. In 2019, the CEDIC team ( www.cedic.at ) decided to visit the country and try out a new offer: DeepSkySafaris by Faried Abu-Salih. DeepSkySafaris offers a wide range of telescopes and mounts for hire, with a stay at the Rooisand Desert Ranch . Rooisand is situated in a scenic part of Namibia, a few altitude metres below the dominant plateau that stretches from the Gamsberg Pass far to the east. The farm is a green oasis in the midst of the steppe landscape, laid out with great attention to detail. It is very comfortable to stay here, even as a non-astrophotographer. Due to the pandemic, the trip was delayed until May 2022, but then we were happy to finally get going. For various reasons, only two members of the CEDIC team - Bernhard Hubl and Markus Blauensteiner - could start the adventure. We stayed 14 nights on Rooisand, with our accommodation in a chalet about 2 km from the farm and 200 m higher up. There we had two heavy, fixed mounts from DeepSkySafaris at our disposal.We had rented the large mounts mentioned above and one smaller mount each, plus three telescopes. The cameras were brought by us. We felt very well taken care of by the perfect service of Faried and the whole Rooisand team. The equipment was in first class condition and in case of difficulties we could rely on Faried's help. Even short-term wishes were always fulfilled immediately. Thus the following were in use: Skywatcher Esprit APO 120 f/7 with QHY 268m CMOS_Camera on Fornax 102 Photo Skywatcher Esprit APO 100 f/5.5 with QHY 268m CMOS camera on Skywatcher AZ-EQ 6 GT Faried Newtonian 10" f/4 with QSI 660-wsg CCD camera on AstroPhysics AP1200 Baader APO 95/560 CaF2 Travel Companion (brought along) with Nikon Z6 on Takahashi EM200 piggyback each of us had a self-brought Vixen FL55SS APO in use, 1x with Nikon Z6, 1x with Canon EOS 6D. During the 14 nights, a large amount of very good raw data was collected - as on previous trips, we will present the images sorted by topic. Planning and coordinating this huge number of different setups within our team was a true challenge, which we could only master by using the planning tool of CCD-Guide ( www.ccdguide.com ). After our astro holiday, we spent another week together with two friends on a road trip through Namibia, which took us via Swakopmund, Twyfelfontain, Etosha and Waterberg back to Windhoeck. These days were also perfect with impressive landscapes and interesting wildlife. We will also present selected pictures of this trip here.