Public Relations
1m Telescope
Great Refractor
Oskar Lühning Telescope
Lippert Telescope
Salvador Mirror
Photographic refractor
Meridian circle
small instruments
Mirror coating facilities
Main building
old solar observatory
Schmidt Museum
Appartment buildings

Hamburg Observatory - Overview:

Buildings & Telescopes

Hamburg Observatory was built at its present location in Hamburg-Bergedorf between 1906 and 1912. The buildings mirror the architecture of that time, and the old instruments form an important historical document of astronomical research.

(1.5k Great Refractor) Great Refractor (only in german)

The Great Refractor is presumably the most impressive instrument of Hamburg Observatory. Its objective diameter (60cm) and focal length (9m) place it among the largest refractor telescopes in Germany. The telescope is still in good working order, and was used - equipped with a modern CCD camera - to observe the impacts of comet Shoemaker/Levy 9's fragments on Jupiter in 1994.

(6k 1 Meter Reflector Telescope) 1 Meter Reflector Telescope

When it took up work in 1911, the 1 Meter Reflector Telescope was the fourth largest reflecting telescope in the world, and for many years, the largest in Germany. Now it is used only for teaching purposes.

(5k Lippert Telescope) The Lippert Telescope (only in german)

The Lippert Telescope has seen many changes in the course of the years. Of the original setup, only the mounting is still in its place. As Lippert Astrograph, this instrument was originally a combination of three astrographs (= refractor telescope with short focal lengths and large focal ratio, for photographic observations) and two guiding refractors, installed on the same mounting.

(5k The Equatorial) The Equatorial

The Equatorial is the oldest telescope still erected in Bergedorf. It is a refractor with diameter and focal length of 26cm and 3m, respectively. To ensure easy handling, a wooden observing chair was placed in the dome which can be moved around the telescope, as well as up and down, by ropes - without the astronomer having to rise.

The photographic refractor The photographic refractor(only in german)

The photographic refractor (ZEISS, Oberkochen) has been funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) in 1973. Since 1975 the instrument is used for calculations of stellar positions and proper motions. With it's 23 cm diameter and 205.3 cm focal length the instrument puts a a celestial area of 6 x 6 degree on a field of 24 x 24 cm in very good quality. The optic is contructed of 5 lenses in new building and is corrected for the optical spectral range.

(5k Oskar-Lühning Telescope) The Oskar-Lühning Telescope

The Oskar-Lühning Telescope is the largest telescope at Hamburg Observatory, and the second largest one in Germany. It is a Ritchey-Chretien system with 1.20m aperture diameter and a focal length of 15.60m in the Cassegrain focus. Built in 1975, it is also the newest instrument at the observatory. Building and mounting, however, date back to 1954; they originally housed the large Hamburg Schmidt Telescope. From 1998 to 2001 the telescope was converted into a robotic telescope with a modern CCD camera. It is used for practice and presentation to the public.

The Salvador Mirror(Nov. 2000) The Salvador Mirror (only in german)

The Salvador Mirror is the successor on the mounting of the original Schmidt-Mirror, a German mounting from Zeiss. The optics consit of a Cassegrain-System with 8 m focal length. The diameter of the mirror is 40 cm. In the late 60-ies the telescope was in Stephanion, close to Tessaloniki in southern Greece for photometric measurements of M-stars. In the early 80-ies the telescope moved into the lodge between Lippert Telescope and photographic refractor.

The Meridian Circle The Meridian Circle (only in german)

The Meridian Circle was one of the first instruments in the newly built observatory in Bergedorf. It was built in 1907 and served for measuring exact positions and for time measurements (from exact positions). The telescope was rotatable only in North-South direction and fixed in the other. In this way the passage of a star through the meridian could be exactly measured. After transporting the instrument to Australia for measurements on the southern sky the building got more and more rotten until some restoration began in 1999 with the aim of at least kepping the residuals. Today the telescope is in a depot of the Deutsches Museum in Munich.

The Schmidt museum The Schmidt museum (only in german)

The Schmidt museum offers several original pieces and documents connected with Bernhard Schmidt. He was a genious mechanic who invented the famous Schmidt mirror. The first Schmidt mirror can be seen in the museum. Furthermore the principle of the Schmidt mirror system is illustrated with sketches.

Vacuum container with the 120 cm mirror of the Oskar Lühning Telescope

Facility for metallizing mirrors for telescopes

In the same building with the Hamburg Schmidt mirror a facility for metallizing the mirrors was installed by Leybold. Depending on the geometric form of the mirror all kinds of mirrors can be metallized up to a diameter of 150 cm. The largest mirror metallized in the facility was the 132 cm mirror of the university Crete in Heraklion.
Besides the commercial metallizing at Zeiss, Jena, this is the only facility of this size in Germany. Many German observatories take advantage of the offer to metallize their mirrors. This offer is also addressed to amateurs and clubs, they can have their mirrors metallized below cost (contact via 040/42891-4112).

Main building

The main building (only in german)

The main building was built 1906-1909, and is the most important building, although it contains no telescopes. It houses the administration (indeed essential!) and the library. The building was renovated in 1999/2000. In earlier times technical equipment was accomodated in this buildung as, e.g. the clock room.

Last modified: 03-Jan-2002 12:07:21 by J.U.Ness

Written by Jan-Uwe Ness | jn