AVV members meet regularly every Tuesday from 7:00 pm to do collaborative observations, weather permitting. But even in bad weather there remains plenty to do, it never gets boring. Exchange of experiences, observing adventures, smalltalk, and the possibility to ask questions about astronomy and astrophysics create enough incentive for some to make the sometimes quite long journey. Guests are always welcome (no registration required)!
At our Tuesday meetings visual observations of the Moon, planets, galactic star clusters and nebulae and galaxies take place under clear sky conditions (refer to internet services wetteronline and sat24). Currently this is done with the 1-meter Telescope and its auxilliary telescopes (Wachter Folded Refractor, Lichtenknecker Guiding Refractor and the Vixen Astrograph), until the instruments in the other domes become accessible again, and with a Celestron C11 Schmidt-Cassegrain in Dome #7. When the sky is cloudy, there are always spontaneous presentations on current topics, or questions from the visiting public are discussed. One focus of the demonstrations for visitors at Hoher List Observatory is astrophotography. Here, visitors are shown how to take pictures of different celestial objects, from planets to deep-sky objects, using various telescopes and digital cameras. Visitors can also bring their own cameras and take home the 'trophies', obtained under staff advice.
A special room is set aside for teaching resources, including a Baader Desktop Planetarium, and many models of celestial bodies, to help visitors of all ages visualize processes in the solar system and beyond. In the foyer resides an exhibition of historical astronomical instruments (clocks, chronometers, theodolites) to be admired. A large blink comparator from the Zeiss/Jena company allows visitors to compare old photographic plates of the same celestial region from different epochs in order to detect changes in brightness, or proper motions of stars, or perhaps to locate an asteroid. What is nowadays done very quickly and automatically with a computer on digital images, still has its charm in the old analog form. The basement of the AVV building also hosts a well filled library in a reading room, which, in addition to the archive for the periodical Sterne und Weltraum (from October 2020 onward), is going to have an extensive book collection in due course.
Due to the COVID-19
pandemic all events are suspended until further notice. At the moment it
is not possible to predict when guided tours can be resumed. As
soon as this is the case it will be announced here, as well as in all
print media as well as in the social media.