Telescopes

I started with Astronomy in 1981 when I got a small telescope for Christmas. I was impressed by the view the telescope offered of the moon, jupiter and saturn. I've spent countless nights behind larger and larger telescopes since then - observing the wonders of the sky and sometimes trying to capture them chemically and electronically.

During my studies in Physics at the Federal Institute of Technology I ground the mirrors of two Newtonian telescopes - a 10" f/11 reflector called "Ganymede" and a 6" f/8 reflector called "Utopia". I use Ganymede mainly for observing and Utopia for lunar and solar photography.
With its extreme length, Ganymede is a special planetary telescope. I was inspired by Harold Hill, author of "A Portfolio of Lunar Drawings" and amateur astronomer Jan de Lignie's Newtonian reflector. Looking at Hill's lunar drawings (made with a 10" f/10 reflector) and looking through de Lignie's 8" f/8 reflector convinced me that a long focal length is the way to go. One might ask whether it is worth the effort building such an awkward telescope. It is. No matter how bad the skies are, it's always a pleasure using Ganymede.

Since 2010, I've been observing and photographing the skies with a 16" Newtonian telescope on an equatorial platform. Some details about this setup can be found here .
Top left: The Newtonian telescope Ganymede next to my girlfriend Barbara at the Swiss Star Party 2005 on "Gurnigel" in the Swiss Alps. Top right: Ganymede next to the bus for transportation. Ganymede features a 25cm f/11 Zerodur main mirror and a secondary mirror obstruction of 12%.
Top left: Another view of Ganymede. It shows the telescope fully operational with all light protection mounted. The total length of the telescope slightly exceeds 3 meters (10 ft). Top right: The Newtonian reflector Utopia with the Dufourspitze (Switzerland's highest peak) in the background. This picture was taken close to the Gornergrat observatory at 3100m above sea level (10'170ft).