My name is Matthias Bopp and I started to get into this hobby Astronomy around Christmas 2000, when my dear wife made me a nice Christmas gift: a Celestron NexStar114GT. This got me on the slippery slope to more aperture.


Matthias Bopp am Big Borg

Matthias Bopp am Teleskop


Light pollution

As you can see in the animation on the right Central Europe suffers from significant light pollution. This limits the possibilities in Astronomy in most parts of this area. However as you will see in the descriptions below the degree of light pollution differs quite strongly and you can thus still find reasonable good observing sites also in Central Europe.

Below you will find some maps illustrating the light pollution situation in Germany and more specifically at my homes. Here on the left you can find an description which explains the colour coding of the maps below.

My three homes are close to Heilbronn, in Freiburg and in the Rhein valley close to Speyer. They are marked as red dots in the map to the right. They are all located in the South Western part of Germany. The respective conditions with respect to light pollution are explained in more detail in the sections below.

My primary home is in the area of Heilbronn and can be found in the map on the left. In order to save energy our little village switches off all street lights every night from about midnight until 4am. During this time I have quite decent conditions with mag 5.5 to 6.0 skies while observing conveniently from our backyard or balcony.

January 1st 2010 I changed my job and thus now have also a home in Freiburg/Breisgau. As this new home is located downtown Freiburg with quite strong light pollution I am limited to observe the sun, moon and planets from my balcony. However driving only 15 minutes east to the black forest area the skies get quite dark.

We have a summerhouse located in the Rhein valley close to Speyer. Its location is marked in the map to the left. Due to the vicinity of two large cities (Ludwigshafen and Mannheim) the light pollution is quite bad. As you can see in the map the limiting magnitude is only about mag 4.0 to 4.5.

Present equipments and configurations

N11GPS with C14 wedge on Pier-Tech 2 telescopic column

The pier with the N11GPS can be setup, removed and stored easily with the help of a little cart

TMB 115/805mm APO refractor on modified Celestron NexStar N11GPS mount

Celestron NexStar N5i - super portable solution as tabletop or on the tripod

TMB 80/480mm APO refractor on Celestron N5i mount using Ray's brackets

Coronado P.S.T. solar telescope on Celestron N5i mount using Ray's brackets

Scopos 66/400 ED APO on Celestron NexStar GT mount, the most portable setup I had so far:
a total weight of only 6,5kg  including APO, mount, tripod, diagonal, zoom-eyepiece and batteries

Previous equipments and configurations

Nexstar N114GT my first telescope

Nexstar N80GT with Baader Bracket

NexStar N5 "The Borg"

"NexStar 90" Spotting Scope mounted on GT mount using Baader brackets

William Optics 80mm APO refractor on N5i mount using Ray's brackets

William Optics 80mm APO refractor on SLT mount, a super portable setup with a total weight of only 8,4kg
(7,4 kg without 2" mirror, eyepiece and batteries)

Celestron C8 on N5i mount using Ray's brackets, a unique N8i

TMB 115/805mm APO refractor on Celestron Advanced-GT (CAM) mount

My first Zeiss telescope, a vintage Zeiss Telementor 2 (Christmas 2007)

N11GPS on tripod with 80mm Refractor piggyback, "The Big Borg"

N11GPS with Celestron C14 wedge on Pier-Tech 2 telescopic column on caddy

My Top-Astro-Accessories (please click on the small pictures to enlarge them and please also visit
the section "Astro downloads" where you can find various articles with more details)


Solid Zeiss/Telefunken surplus tripod


Green Laser as starpointer

Modified surplus tilting head as wedge

Telrad finder with dew heater

Vibration Suppression Pads

Anti dew heater controller

Accessory Tray

Filter wheel with color filters

Cases for telescope and eyepieces

Baader VIP Barlow

Red light (MiniMagLight & red cap)

Infrared remote controlled electric focuser

Ray’s brackets

Optical cleaning tissue (pure microfibres)

Accessory tray with light and heater

Optical cleaning fluid

Baader's Witty 1 adapter with adapter to Ray's brackets

Afocal astrophotography projection adapter Baader OPFA3

Video camera

Auxiliary Port N5i

Dew heater for eyepieces and corrector lens


Controller for dew heater

Bubble level

Dew shield (also blocks stray light)

Binocular adapter

Solar filter (Baaders Astro Solar Filter Foil) plus protection box

2.4 GHz wireless video link

Mobile Phone fixture to attach Palm to Tripod

Power supply distribution unit

Rechargeable sealed lead-acid battery, 12V, 24Ah

Homebrew adapter Hyperstar-Mintron

Red markings at tripod

Adjustable observing chair

Dual purpose wheely bar & accessory tray

Palm Pilot running Planetarium 2.0


For deep sky live video observations: N11GPS Hyperstar lens assembly (results in a f:1.8 system)

Baader T-2 Quick Changer System

2" maxbright diagonal

Clicklock Eyepiece Clamp 1.25"/T-2

Planetarium software “The Sky” for Windows XP

Alan Gee Telecompressor Mark II

Microfocuser Feather Touch

Starizona Landing Pad to mount N11GPS on tripod

Casio QV2800UX camera with remote control & RS232 cable

dew shield

Handcontroller bracket S&S Optica

TeleGismo Telescope cover

Mintron 12V1C-EX video camera with RS232 remote control option

Celestron Radial Guider

Celestron CN-16 GPS module

Celestron SkyScout

Canon DSLR EOS-300D modified as EOS-310DA

Canon 18x50 IS
image stabilization

Remote control and timer for Canon EOS-300D

notebook tent:
portable, flexible
shielding for the laptop - great at
night and in the sun

Electroluminescent (EL) foil from Gerd Neumann to create flatfield images for Astroimaging

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