Universitäts-Sternwarte München / Observatorium Wendelstein|
Scheinerstr. 1, D-81679 München, Deutschland
Telefon +49-89-2180-6001 · Telefax +49-89-2180-6003 ·
Wendelsteingipfel, D-83735 Bayrischzell, Deutschland
Telefon +49-8023-8198-0 · Telefax +49-8023-8198-29 ·
The Wendelstein Observatory
The Wendelstein Observatory is situated on the summit of Mount
Wendelstein, a prominent, 1838 m high mountain in the bavarian Alps.
It is operated by the University Observatory of the University of Munich.
University Observatory Munich
Telephone +49 8023 8198 0
Fax +49 8023 8198 29
||47° 42′ 13.1″ North
||12° 00′ 43.4″ East
Only 75 km south-east of Munich, after one hour's drive this site can
easily be reached via cable car (8 min) or by means of a cog rail road
(25 min.). Final access (personal only) to the very top is achieved by an elevator
climbing up 109 m within the mountain. The observatory was first installed
to survey the solar activity. In the mid-1980, it was redirected to night observations
of stars and galaxies, but it still owns a 20 cm Zeiss solar coronograph.
Nowadays, the coronograph is used only for eduction and public outreach.
For the night time activity, a 80 cm DFM-telescope was installed which was
operated until spring 2008 for scientific observing
programs every clear night. It was equipped with high-tech focal
instruments like high-speed multichannel photometers or a direct
imaging CCD-Camera. This instrumentation has often been involved
in international observing programs since. In 2007, a 40 cm telescope
was installed for the students lab.
The main scientific facility is a 2 m Fraunhofer telescope installed in 2011
which replace the 80 cm telecope and is installed at the old site of the 80 cm telescope.
The telescope will be finally equipped with four instruments, an optical wide field imager,
a theree channel (optical to NIR) imager, a high resolution echelle spectrograph, and
a field spectrograph for kinematical studies.
The weather conditions at Wendelstein are highly seasonal with
sometimes more than 1m of snow in winter time and decent warmth in
summer. But cold weather may occur at any time of the year.
Above the clouds at sunset
Compared to other sites in Germany the meteorological conditions at
Wendelstein have turned out to be fairly good. During typical years
about 120 nights with less than 2/8 cloud cover can be used for
astronomical observations. Extremely dark nights often occur in
autumn when the upper cloud layers may reach altitudes of 1500 - 1800
m thus preventing light pollution by some nearby small villages. Seeing conditions have been studied
in April through December 1998 using a copy of the ESO Paranal Seeing
Monitor kindly made available by ESO. (e.g. ESO La Silla and Paranal
Telescope and Instrumentation:
2.0m fraunhofer Telescope
Since September 2011, the new telescope is installed at the observatory. It saw first light on Dec 19, 2011.
Regular use of the telescope started Nov 13, 2013. The telecope was build by
Kayser-Threde GmbH (München) and
Astelco System GmbH (Martinsried). It is installed in a 8.5 m diameter dome build by
Baader Planetarium (Mammendorf)
The three large mirrors of the telecope were produced by
Lytkarino Opical Glass Factory (LZOS, Moskau).
Wendelstein 2 m Fraunhofer Telescope build by Kayser-Threde (München)
and Astelco (Martinsried), shown with its wide field CCD camera.
The telescope is of the Ritchey-Chrétien type with a free aperture of 2.0 meter
and focal ratio of f/7.8. The light is redirected through a tunable and plane third mirror
it one of the two Nasmyth-focal stations. At both stations, instruments with up to 350 kg and a field-of-view up
to 0.7 degree can be installed (right now, only one station has a 3-lens corrector system).
One station is equipped with an already operational wide field imager CCD camera. The other station will
house an optical-NIR CCD camera (smaller f.o.v.) and the fiber connections to two spectrographs, installed
outside the dome in the observatory building.
Telescope operation can be done locally or by remote control.
The scientific instruments are all developed and build by the Universitätssternwarte München.
Image of the spiral galaxy NGC 891 (Andromeda), taken with the Wendelstein 2 m Fraunhofer teleskoce and its WWFI camera.
The images was put together from individual exposures in filters u′, g′, and r′
the combination corresponds to the impression of the human eye. NGC 891 is similar to our own Milky Way host galaxy,
but seen edge-on. It has a distance of about 30 million light years.
The wide field camera (WWFI) allows images up to an size of
0.5 degree (full moon diameter). Right now, first science programs have started while a major
focus is still the testing of all telescope modes. The camera is based on a mosaic of 4 CCDs \ (each 4048 × 4048 pixels) from the company e2v,
which have been put into a computer controlled detector system by
Spectral Instruments (Tucson). Up to 14 filters can be
installed (so far u', g', r', i'), and a so-called Bonn shutter is in use in front of the detectors.
A three channel camera (two optical CCDs and one infrare Hawaii2R detecotor system) are still under final
construction. An echelle spectrograph for high resolution spectra is under tests in the Munich labs
while the field spectrograph VIRUSW for medium resolution is on loan at the 2.7m telescope of the
McDonald Observatory (Texas) producing already scientific data.
The new telescope will be a corner stone for the observational science projects of the
Universitäts-Sternwarte München, especially for the projects within the
Clusters of the German Exzellenzinitiative “Origin and Structure of the
Universe”. Further, the Munich programs using our parts of the observing time of
9m Hobby-Eberly Telescope in Texas
will be supported through coordinated observations. More information about telescope and instruments
can be found in a couple of publications.
40 cm Teleskop
A 40 cm Cassegrain telecope purchased from ASTELCO was installed
in 2007 in the old 3m dome. The telescope is equipped with an ST-10
CCD camera. The filter wheel contains SDSS g', r' and i' as well as
Johnson B and V filters. The f/8 systems yields a pixel scale of
The telescope will be used for the student lab and for Nova
monitoring towards M31 during the
construction time of the new 2 m telescope replacing the 80 cm
telescope. Later-on, it will support the 2 m class telescope as
extinction monitor. The 40-years-old aluminium dome crashed
during the commissionig of the 40 cm telescope and was
replaced by a new 3.2m Baader dome.
|Wendelstein 40 cm telescope
||New 3.2 m dome
||7.5 min R band image of the globular cluster M15 (18/12/2007).
20 cm Coronograph
A special 20 cm refracor, built by Zeiss-Oberkochen, was used until 1988 to observe the activity of the sun in white
light, Haplha, and spectra. The telescope allows to place
special light stops (the so-called coronographic design which
produces artificial solar eclipses) allowing to observe the solar
atmosphere under excellent atmospheric conditions. The telescope
is used for public outreach and student eduction.
Solar activity data taken at Wendelstein have been digitzed for the years
1947 und 1982 and are available from the
Solar Data Services of the National Geophysical Data Center
20 cm Coronograph and solar flares
The telescopes at the Wendelstein observatory are used in
- Stand-alone programs, e.g.:
Search candidates for compact
dark matter through gravitational lensing, the so-called M31
pixel-lensing project WeCAPP;
search and monitoring of variable stars in dwarf galaxies of the
local group; search for transients of extra-solar planets; observation of the properties of
cometary cores; detailed surface photometry of
Supporting runs at other facilities, e.g.:
are coordinated supernova monitoring, coordinated monitoring
of exo-planets, and follow-up of Planck cluster
Development and tests of instruments:
instruments were developed at the Wendelstein 80 cm telescope: CCD
camera MONICA, fast multi-channel
spectral photometer MEKASPEK
with high resolution echelle spectrograph, multi-channel UBVRI
photometer MCCP. The echelle
developed for the large telescopes at Calar Alto observatory was
commissioned at Wendelstein. It returned meanwhile to Munich.
A two-channel CCD camera for the 80 cm telescope was the last instrument
realized for that meanwhile decommissioned telescope.
Recent developments focus on the instrumentation for the 2m telescope (wide
field imager WWFI, up-grade of FOCES (pressure and temperature
stabilization, frequency comb), 3 channel optical-NIR camera 3KK, and
fiber-coupled field spectrograph VIRUSW (Reports about the 2m instruments
work is regularly done with the CCD camera and the spectrograph at the 40 cm telscope.
The 40 cm telescope continues the student lab program and the
nova survey towards M31. It is further used to monitor variable AGB
stars in selected globular clusters and to study the transmission
of the atmosphere above Mt. Wendelstein.
In all modes of observations, students have the chance to
participate and get trained in modern observing and instrument
development. Up to now, a total of 59 diploma/master/bachelor theses and PhD works has been done at
the observatory since 1989 (until start of 2014). Furthermore, a large number of publications has been based on data
collected partly or totally at the observatory. The participation in
international campaigns has been requested quite often supporting
parallel observing with sattelite telescopes or world wide nets of
ground based facilities. Guest observers from USA, Sweden,
Argentina, and China have made use of the telescope.
Last revision: April 2011
email: A. Riffeser (firstname.lastname@example.org)