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telescopes and deep sky

 

Most people that share that lifelong interest in the stars and the universe say that they had one or two key events that sparked everything. For me, the first key event was in spring 1976, when my father woke me up very early one morning to show me comet West low at the eastern horizon. I was eight years old at that time and the view of this comet was just overwhelming.  The second spark was in 1998, in Chaco Canyon, a small National Park in New Mexico, USA, when I saw a truss tube Dob for the first time. Each night, its owner offered tours of the night sky to the National Park visitors. Late in one of those evenings, after all other visitors had left, he allowed me to use his Dob to explore the Milky Way on my own, in the middle of the desert, far away from any cities. I had seen and used a few telescopes before, but that Dob was a revelation: a telescope reduced to its very essentials.

Some time later, back in Germany, I discovered the website of Stathis Kafalis with his homemade mirrors and telescope masterpieces, and I started building my own 8-inch travel dob using an existing mirror. The next step in my career as a telescope maker was grinding the mirror for my 14-inch Dobson. This was followed later by a 22" lowrider Dob, for which I made both primary and secondary mirrors. Despite its large aperture, this telescope is still very transportable and is presently the telescope I use mainly for my deep sky observing. 

Despite having made a number of mirrors and telescopes, I still consider myself mainly an observer, exploring the night sky at the eyepiece. Tracking the interwoven filaments of the veil nebula to their very ends, observing distant clusters of tiny galaxies, the uncountable stars of a globular cluster, or trying to glimpse obscure objects at the threshold of visibility -- these are impressions at the telescope that cannot be described in words.

Making my telescopes, I have profited from all the websites of other telescope makers, who documented the making of their telescopes and their ideas in the internet, and who convinced me that making a telescope is feasible at all.

O

 recent updates:

03/2019
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Filter: update filter spectra and aging of filters


10/2018
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Hickson groups: update observing reports


03/2018
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22" Dob: update detachable altitude bearings

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ATM: passive thermal protection of secondary mirror


10/2017
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Young Stellar Objects: update observing reports PV Cep and Z CMa


04/2017
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14" Dob: update

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14" travel Dob: update


02/2017
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Young Stellar Objects: update observing reports

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Large PN: update observing reports


08/2016
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Abell PN: update observing reports of Abell 41, 42, 43, 48, 56, 59, 60, 62, 66, 71, 72, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 85

11/2015
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Exotic: A detailed view of the Veil's Southern Bubble

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Exotic: NGC 6946 and 6939, a nice pair in Cepheus

08/2015
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12" Dob: A new telescope for a Lightbridge mirror set

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ATM: Soldering massive spiders

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Exotic: update Cocoon Nebula

05/2015
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Exotic: APM 08279+5255 Quasar in Lynx

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Things to have: TS XWA 100° Eyepieces

04/2015
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Things to have: Cartes du Ciel Deep Sky catalogs

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Observing Reports: DSM 2015 Observing List

03/2015
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Exotic: update Sirius B

02/2015
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Young Stellar Objects: update

08/2014

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Observing Reports

11/2013
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Filter: update and new spectra

10/2013
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Hickson Groups update: observing reports of all 100 groups

03/2013
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Sharpless HII update: images and descriptions

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Abell PN update: images and descriptions

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Filter spectra  update spectra of the DSM 2013

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Wolf-Rayet shells  update

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Young Stellar Objects  update Thommes' Nebula

12/2012
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Protoplanetary Nebula update

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Wolf-Rayet shells  new

09/2012
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Filter spectra  new

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Physiology of vision new

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Sharpless HII update: images and descriptions

08/2012
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Sharpless HII update: observations

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Large PN update: observations

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Sharpless 91 and Friends new

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Exotic  new: in English

06/2012
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Large PN update: Outters 4

04/2012
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Sharpless HII update: more objects

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10" f/5 travel Dob new

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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