1986 until 2011 - 25 years Bismarck
Welcome to the Bismarck Observatory and
to my other telescopes!
The Bismarck Telescope is a legendary home made
telescope. It is a Newtonian mirror telescope with a diameter of 13.1 inch.
The aperture ratio is 1/4.5. The name is due to its heavy construction
inspired by shipbuilding and heavy machinery but with no military
intention. The name was created intuitively on a gut level. During its
travel period this telescope had a complete weight of about 250 kilograms.
Bismarck was many years in mobile use as a "hauling telescope" sometimes
in Southern Spain and at some of the star parties called
Internationales Teleskop Treffen in Carinthia, Austria.
Quasi as highlight in summer of 1991 it got the chance to travel to America
for observation of the Total Solar Eclipse. In fall of 1993 the foundation
of The Bismarck Observatory was pushed forward. Since November of this
year the telescope is standing on its heavy concrete founding weighing 300
kilograms, protected against wind and weather by a mobile miniature hut
which provided its services about 20 years in the garden of the
University Observatory Munich .
The image behind this link shows the hut at its old location in front of
the main building of the University Observatory. In 1999 Bismarck got a
second opportunity to experience a Total Solar Eclipse. Perhaps the
Bismarck Observatory is the only amateur Observatory whose main instrument
has experienced two Total Eclipses. In November 2003 the 10th
anniversary of the commissioning of The Bismarck Observatory happened. In
July 2011 it was time for the next great changement: After our almost
finished movement towards the Allgaeu region Bismarck could also made
a travel into the west also marking the end of the Bismarck Observatory
in its previous form. Unfortunately the hut could not be used in its
common way, not enough space into the new garden. Meanwhile Bismarck
has to withstand the elements, mounted at its old steel tripod, covered
with planes. But the future should bring a new home for the heavy duty
telescope. If you are interested in a few technical details and informations
about Bismarck you can look here.
Off course the images at this pages can be enjoyed together with
the images from the Bismarck gallery
by this way .
During the preparation of the next Solar Eclipse expedition some
nice t-shirts and Bismarck Observatory products have been designed. You may
take a look here!
New images at this page can be viewed here and
A newer time lapse clip from summer 2007 can be watched
You can download an older nice little Bismarck time lapse movie
here . It is taken during a
spechtling night in summer 2003. Filesize is 1 Mb.
In April 2007
In February 2012
In June 2003
Longer versions of both panoramic views can be watched at the
Bismarck gallery .
The image in the middle is done during our firs winter at the
new domicile. There was a little meeting for "spechtling", in front the
cute 66mm Wilhelmine Apo of Gabi, in rear Ben with his Lightbridge.
The winter rules already at the Bismarck Observatory. But it is
no more than October!
Bismarck and Gabi
Haley at "spechtling"
Early summer 2003
Technology of the 13
inch Bismarck Telescope:
|Complete view of the graticule of the mounting from east.
||Detailed view of the worm wheel of the tracking system with the motor
||Fine gear in declination und clamping.
||Detailed view of the divisible tube with the rotation system.
Guiding scope carrier
|The focusing unit is easy detachable and will also be used together
with the other scopes.
||The 3 1/2 inch guiding scope is mounted on this carrier, adjustable
in two axes. With this device a guiding star is easy to find.
The construction of the graticule already started at
the end of the seventies of the last century. Both axes descended from a
historic vehicle of the brand Opel Diplomat. This is called to be elegant
recycling. The mounting resembles in design the legendary Siegfried
mounting from Anton Staus, but is improved in essential points and is made
complete from steel and aluminium. The main improvements includes an
oversized clamping in Declination and a strengthened connection between
Rectascension axis and Declination axis. The worm wheel was made originally
after the measurements of Anton Staus and is driven by an oversized
synchronous motor which is working now until 20 years without any failure.
The telescope tube is divisible with a fast clamping system. This was
advantageous for the transportations but is still helpful for a proper
fitting of the Bismarck telescope in its small hut. The focusing unit is
sitting on an adjustable plate and is due to its integrated set of filters
equipped with a fast clamping system for matching on all my telescopes.
According to todays technical measurements the tracking control could be
named fossil but it fulfilles itīs purpose to my convenience. Due to theft
prevention expensive components like eyepieces and the focusing unit will
not be stored inside the Observatory. The telescope itself is extremly
sturdy and instead of minimal maintenance and strong traces of wear and
age it is still able to fulfill its purpose to enjoy my wife and myself
with great astronomy pleasure.