My name is Math Heijen, and I live in the Netherlands (50.55N 06.03E). Through these pages I would like to share my hobby, backyard astronomy, with other amateur astronomers around the world. From all the different aspects of amateur astronomy I mostly prefer visual observing, but every now and again I like to shoot some images with my digital camera or web cam, just to document my observing reports. My favourite observing targets are the Moon, open clusters, multiple stars, asterisms and wide binocular star fields.
Before I give you an overview of my site I want to make some general remarks. All the different sections of the backyard-astro site are updated regularly, some more often than others, depending on the contents (and the weather!).
If you want to be kept informed about updates of the site, please join our mailing list (go to Homepage and subscribe).
The site can be searched using the search engine below the menu bar on the left. This search engine does not include the links pages and the astro-weblog in it searches. This would clutter the search results too much. The astro-weblog and links pages however have their own search engines, so they can be searched separately. Should you have any questions about the site content or about anything concerning amateur astronomy, please feel free to contact me via e-mail.
In this section you will find everything about the equipment I use, why I chose to use it, what my personal findings about this equipment are. I divided the equipment into four separate sections:
- telescope and eyepieces;
- binoculars and Skywindow;
2. The Beginner
In the beginner's section I try to give some tips and provide some useful resources for beginning amateur astronomers. Here you will find books, software, links to astronomy sites and user groups for different "areas" of amateur astronomy:
- want to learn the basics of astronomy (theoretical)?
- want to start observing?
- want to learn about astro-equipment?
Just start on the introductory page or go to the subject of your interest right away.
3. Focus On
In the "Focus On" section you will find a variety of articles related to observing the deep sky. The topic can range from an in-depth article about a single deep sky object to a complete star hop through one or more constellations.
In the books section I regularly publish extensive book reviews (including sample pages) of my favourite observing handbook
5. The solar system
In this section you will find solar, lunar and planetary observing reports. They contain various material, text, photos, sketches etc. The reports are divided into three groups, sun, moon and planets.
6. The Deepsky
In "The Deepsky" section I file my deepsky observing lists, logs and reports. The observing lists are downloadable as PDF files. The observing logs and reports are documented with finder charts, sketches, images etc. If you are interested in deep sky observing please also have a look at the "Focus On" section.
This is the most dynamic part of my site. The astro-weblog enables me to publish any item within minutes, from every possible location. I use the astro-weblog as a sort of astronomical diary. You will find a wide variety of entries in this weblog. Observing reports, interesting links, questions asked by visitors (and the answers of course), equipment, sketches, images, binocular objects, etc. etc. You can just scroll through all the entries or choose to view them by category, period of time, or even search the weblog using the search engine (see the menu bar on the right, when in the weblog). You will also find information on the most recent site updates in the Astro-Weblog. Most observing reports and articles on equipment are removed from the weblog after a few months, and filed away on my website in the Deepsky, Solar system or Equipment section. The original weblog entries are replaced by a short summary of the article or observing report, with a link to the full report.
Here you will find my favourite astronomy links. It is possible for you, as a visitor, to add links. Just click on "Add Your Link" and you will be guided through the process. You can search the link pages by using the search engine at the top of the links page.