Level of accuracy: Linz, Austria
Born in 1969, I was raised in the city
of Linz, Austria. I attended medical school in Vienna, and consumed my
training to become an orthopaedic trauma surgeon mainly at the trauma
surgery department in the common hospital of Linz. I also bounced around
in several further departments all over Austria, Europe and even in the
U.S. to enrich my knowledge especially in hand surgery. My specialty
therefore is Hand and Microsurgery but I also cover orthopedic
trauma-surgery. In 2000 I co-founded the microsurgical research and
training centre (www.maz.at),
offering international microsurgery courses to attendants from all over
I discovered my passion for astronomy
when I was a child. My father brought me to the local astronomy club (www.sternwarte.at)
when I was only 15 years old and encouraged me to join this club. The
astronomical virus infested me at once when I gazed through a telescope
for the very first time. This was a very ancient but most interesting and
beautiful 5” f/15 Zeiss refractor being attached to an old german eq-mount.
Ever since two things became quite clear for my life in a blink of an eye:
this infection implied an infaust prognosis and the wish to build my own
observatory when I`d be a “grown up” arose at the same moment…but it took
me a long time until this came true.
I started to hold astronomical lectures
in public at our club-observatory at the age of 16 years, enriching me
with the privilege to work with people which I do love and now suits my
occupation as a doctor perfectly. I am a counselor for astronomy projects
Ars Electronica Center
in Linz, Austria. I am also a Fellow of the
Royal Astronomical Society.
In May 2005 I carried out my plans on
creating my own observatory. It is a small 3m square building with a 10
foot HomeDome (http://www.homedome.com/)
that contains my dream come true main-scope: a 9” f/9 TMB Apo. Since the
space inside the observatory is insufficient to hold a large refractor
like this, I needed to let this telescope be designed as a folded
refractor (Schaerrefractor). Matthias Wirth, Markus Ludes (http://www.apm-telescopes.de/)
and Wolfgang Ransburg (www.teleskop-service.de)
managed to build me this telescope. Handling this equipment for visual
and photografic purposes grants me great relaxation and recreation.
In 2009 I started to undertake another
exciting project: together with my partner and friend
I raised my remote-observatory in the South of France. The 9” TMB Apo will
serve me well under way better sky-conditions.
I am married to Christine and we have 3
kids. My wife is also in Astronomy and she shares my enthusiasm for this
hobby. Christine is an artist, mainly working as a painter (http://christelhager.info/)
but also creating lamps, textile arts and comics.
When I was holding a lecture at the
club-observatory one afternoon those many years ago, I encountered one of
the most terrific experiences in my life. I met Christine and from the
first moment I layed eyes on her face, I somehow foresaw the future and
something inside my innermost soul told me, one day I`d be married to her.
When I uncovered this experience to Chrisine many years later when we were
already married, she admit and regret, that she would never had thought of
a thing like that when she saw me for the first time.
Areas of interest
Deep-sky imaging: wide field images and high resolution also.
Planetary and lunar visual and photografic observation.
NASA APOD (several times)
Featured images in Universe
Today (several times)
Image of the day in Anacortes
Astroforum (several times)
Image of the day in Astronomy magazine (several times)
Image of the month in Deepsky forum (several times)
Image of the month in Cloudy Nights Astroforum
Image of the day in
Best image of object in Cloudy nights Astroforum (several times)
Contest winner of best Mars image in Deepsky Astroforum
Image publication in german magazines: Sterne u Weltraum, Astronomie Heute,
Image publication in Sky and Telescope
Image publication in Astronomy Magazine
Images published in various books and videos.
TAO remote internet controlled observatory in south of France
My “Stargazer private observatory” is located some 35 km north of Linz in
a very nice and dark area under 6m5 limiting magnitude skies at an
elevation of 740m above sealevel.
local obs: 5” f/9 TMB APO
20” f/3.7 Intes Dobsonian – Matthias Wirth design
remote obs: 9” f/9 TMB APO with TMB flattener
a one arm fork mount – fully adaptable to its weight it is supposed to
carry, meaning that the horizonal (RA) arm can be moved within a certain
amount to balance the scopes.
Boxdörfer Dynostar driver system (www.boxdoefer.de)
10 Micron 2000
Starlight Xpress SXV H16
FLI filterwheel and Astronimik 2” Filterset (LRGB Ha O3)
Starlight Xpress guide-head
DMK21f04 fire wire camera for lunar and planetary work.
SBIG ST 11k + Astronomik 2” filterset (LRGB, Ha)
AstroArt 4 for image
acquisition, autoguiding, alignment and color conversion.
CCD Stack, Maxim DL for preprocessing. Photoshop PS CS2, Registax 4 and
PixInsight for postprocessing.
CCD Autopilot, CCD Navigator, Focus Max for remote photography.