1986 until 2011 - 25 years Bismarck telescope!

The Bismarck gallery - impressions of past and future of the heavy telescope - from first light until the Bismarck Observatory

This whole gallery can also be viewed by this way .

And it is continuously under expansion

All images of this gallery are arranged by that way: new images are on top and older ones you'll find on bottom of the page. Who wants to scroll from the beginning of the Bismarck era can start here and rummage from bottom to top.

A few images from February 2012, where friends and neighbours visited us for a spechtling session. Pictures from winter 2011/2012 with night impression. In summer 2011 Bismarck has moved here a few impressions. A few fantastic summer nights in 2007 where also be used to create a night time lapse movie. In April 2007 a few nice nightmoods were created. Images of the changes in fall and winter 2006. Here a few impressions from summer 2006, here are images from the rekord-breaking winter 2006 and here you'll find impressions from early 2005. Pictures from the construction of the observatory you'll find here. Images from southern Spain one can watch here. Pictures from the expedition towards america can be found here. Bismarck was also present at many of the early ITT's.

During a little observer meeting at the south side of our small domicile, it got narrow for the first time when Ben's Lightbridge and the 18inch from Martin joined us. The Lightbridge is already well known from the ITT. The two rows of images are presenting a few nice impressions:

Telescope meeting

Spechtling with...

...Bismarck and 16inch

Observation evening

Gabi and Ben in front of the telescopes, slight HDR. Here in front of the Orion scenery hard working observations happened. The telescope arrangement in action. At the next night's eve Felix is checking out Bismarck, HDR shot.

Three Telescopes

Parade of scopes

Beside Bismarck and Ben the 66mm Apo "Wilhelmine" is in use. At the following evening the 18inch dobson is also in use. Image from Martin Brückner.

Actually Bismarck is mounted on its proven steel stand. In early 2012 winter was pretty strong. Until further it is necessary to await observing opportunities under canvas cover. In midwinter we visited the old observatory location again:


Frosty night

Without hut it is pretty uncomfortable for Bismarck. At -25°C it is too cold for "spechtling".

Concrete stand


Lonely and abandoned the concrete pier has to withstand this cold winter. Sunset above the winter scenery behind the old Observatory location. HDR shot out of two frames.

The year 2011 caused big alterations. After almost 18 years of Bismarck Observatory we have not only found a new living space, but also reached a place with better sky. This was also a reason for at least only sporadic astronomical activity in Oberdill. After decommisioning of the telescope in July the hut followed in August. From this time forward the Bismarck Observatory stopped existing in its form so far. Now a few impressions of the movement and also from Bismarck on the new location. The hut has been moved too but the observation place is inapropriate for the Bismarck Observatory in its known form:

Dismounting floor plate

Concrete pier

Small grounding

The hut has been rolled off from the tracks and the base plates have been removed. One can see the construction bars beneath. After removement of the tracks the concrete stand is remaining. The groundings for the tracks have been removed also.

Box in box

In evening light

Dusk bevore observation

The hut of the Observatory has reached its final destination. The unloading tracks are practically also right by hand. Until construction of a new concrete grounding the well proven steel stand comes to use. Here during observation of the Sun. Preparation for observations.

In summer 2007 this nice time lapse movie of an impressive spechtling night with a splendid summer milky way has been created. (Filesize ca 1.1 Mb, Divx format)

Few weeks after the Lunar Eclipse a longer period of good weather provided nice observing nights and with the new camera "Photonensack" pretty night moods are now possible. The great panoramic view stretches about an angle of 180° from north to south. The timber workers enabled more southern view. ;-))

Much more southern view

View toward west

The southern gap has been widened again. Instead of trees the view towards this direction is also nice.

Storms in summer and fall caused significant changes of Bismarcks horizon. A thunderstorm in June 2006 caused the enjoyable southern horizon's widening at the Observatory. The distance between Observatory and forest was choosen correctly. No fallen timber approached too close. Later on a worm wheel cover was finally mounted. In fact this was planned since longer time. Finally smudges on trousers or jackets are now part of the past:

Horizon widening

More southern view

Night mood

There is now a southern gap in the forest. The storm Kyrill flattened more timber in winter. through the changements the scene behind the forest becames visible.

New cover

Top view

View from south to worm wheel and cover. Top view at cover and mounting at the worm support.

In summer the acquisition of a Herschel wedge was an occasion for a little guide scope renovation:

Sun spechtling

Guide scope renovated

Herschel wedge

First Sun spechtling with renovated guide scope and Herschel wedge. Nice summer mood, view toward Northeast. Detailed view of the Herschel wedge at guide scope.

Whow! we never had so many snow

The hut had to be excavated to reach the telescope.

This panoramic view and some of the following pictures are showing the situation at the maximum of this record ice age winter in March 2006. For the first time since months Bismarck was put into fresh air. Even spechtling was possible at the next evening.

Gabi is testing.

All dug out

70 cm of snow!

Gabi is acting like it would be clear again. Just a few cubic metres of snow dugged out and spechtling could begin. Now it starts snowing again!

With Samti

Samti is visiting


In deep snow

Gabi is spechtling eagerly Bismarck, Samti and Gabi are withstanding the frost This here would be nice Instead of that lot of snow in the county

The collage above was created during the design of a new Bismarck logo. To have the observatory located at a excellent place in the high mountains would be charming.

Bismarck and Gabi

Bismarck and Haley


Who is smooching with the heavy scope? Haley and Bismarck in action. The gaining dawn makes the contour of the scope visible.

Bismarck and Schdoffal

The Bismarck Observatory in May 2003

The Bismarck Observatory in summer

Sometimes one of our other telescopes is night visitor at the Observatory. This night it is the ULT. The Observatory at one of its day activities for solar observation here during the Mercury transit. Official image of The Bismarck Observatory, taken in midsummer of 1996.

"Spechtling" of the sun with Bismarck

Southern view from the hut

Nightview of the Observatory

Gabi is "spechtling" the sun with the Bismarck telescope. Not only by night you can meet there "spechtling" activity. View toward south to the telescope and the limiting forest from inside of the protecting building of the Observatory. View toward north. The Scope looks blur because tracking was online during exposure.

At the prelude of the terrific summer 2003 Mars is standing above the eastern horizon of the Observatory.

The exhausting haulage of the heavy scope comed in 1993 to an happy end because there was the once in a lifetime chance to install an own observatory at home, the Bismarck Observatory. Here images of the construction of my observatory:

Concrete support

Placing the tracks

Concrete work is done

The 300 kilogram concrete support is already on it's place. Solid concrete foundations have been casted for the iron tracks. After finishing of the concrete jobs the tracks are on it's place.

New floor

Bismarck mounted

Beside a solid floor the adapter plate is also mounted on the support. Telescope at the support and ready for "spechtle"!

The travel era with Bismarck is tending step by step towards it's end.

Bismarck and Lovemachine

At the Tremalzo

The perfect szenery: Bismarck, Lovemachine (Chevy Caprice Classic) and Haleys outdoor sleeping berth. One of the most adventurous expeditions led from south at the Tremalzo high above the Val di Bondo.

The absolute highlight of Bismarck's travels was the Solar Eclipse expedition in summmer 1991 which led to the US and Mexico. Six months later there was an addition with a winter voyage.

In La Paz, Mexico

Bismarck in Arizona

Bismarck mounting equipped with the Large Field Camera during the Eclipse campaign 1991 in La Paz with Haley, Franz and the ZDF Team Impression at the New Years morning of 1992 close to the Cactus National Monument.

More Solar Eclipse images from this and other expeditions can be watched here. Landscape views and impressions are soon visible on this link.

Close to the Death Valley

In the Nevada desert

The heavy telescope is standing lonely after a "spechtled"through night inside the meager desert landscape close to the Death Valley. Suitable to the telescope a Van withstood as carriage donkey and transported people and equipment 10000 kilometres through the US and Mexico.

A few impressions from "spechtling" everyday life. Bismarck's use at home was pretty rare which changed then a few years later with the foundation of the observatory. You can watch a lot more Lunar Eclipse images here.

Bismarck at home

Lunar Eclipse February 1990

In the mountains

An overtired Haley has just now succeeded the observation of the Lunar Eclipse from February 1990. Here a focal shot from this Eclipse through the Bismarck telescope. In the whole course of Bismarcks voyages one location in the alps was frequently used for "spechtling".

In Catalunya

Morning mood


Geminides location

Farewell from spain, One last "spechtling" duringt the voyage home. After a morning nap in the foothills of the Alps. Winter mood with Bismarck Bismarck defys also ice and snow.

Highlight and finale of the Spain expedition series was the "spechtling" week on top of the Mulhacen mountain at more than 3000 meters altitude in the Sierra Nevada.

At Chullo

At Mulhacen...

...August 1989

1989 we started out for the last time to bring Bismarck to Andalucia. Our Camp at Mulhacen mountain. Bismarck with "Hexadome" tent and 5 inch telescope. Evening mood in the Sierra Nevada.

In southern Spain


Morning sun


"Spechtling" on top of a mountain high above the lights of the Costa del Sol. Taken in the night of the Total Lunar Eclipse from August 1989. Bismarck awaits the night at the summit. Bismarck is glistening in morning light at "Khalasasaya". 1988 Bismarck entered the Sierra Nevada for the first time.

Soon targets outside middle europe attracted us. 1987 the first great expedition led towards southern Spain.

Pic du Midi

At Calar Alto


During the first travel to Andalucia a "spechtling" break was held at the Pic du Midi. Bismarck stands inmidst the thyme bushes at Calar Alto. After the first expedition to Spain a nonstop travel to the ITT site was made.

Soon an intense travel activity started and founded beside "spechtling" excursion towards our bavarian mountains also the ITT tradition. A few of this ITT images is courtesy from Ben Nagorsen.

"Spechtling" in the greens

Bismarck at...

...Wöllaner Nock

Small Excursion towards the mountain world - spring 1987. At the 3rd ITT at the Wöllaner Nock Bismarck was examined with great interest. Haley takes place at Bismarck's couterweight axis. No problem for the mount.

After long lasting construction time in summer 1986 the Bismarck telescope could be used for the first time for "spechtling". For me this was a giant step from the 2 3/8 inch Schiefspiegler.

First assembly

First light!

First trip

First time assembly of all parts. In summer 1986 the scope's mirror saw it's first starlight: M11! The 2nd ITT at Gerlitze mountain. Bismarck's first trip in the wide world.
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