born in 1953 in
Graz, Austria, but spent my youth in a small village in
western Tyrol doing a lot
of skiing and mountaineering. Since age 15 I was passionately doing chemistry experiments and
electronics in my free time.
After finishing secondary school I studied Chemistry at the Technical University in Graz.
In 1985 I co-founded the Austrian company named
CTP Air Pollution Control and since have been managing the company till 2014.
astronomical life started in 1997 with a simple Tasco reflector, a gift
for my second son. He soon lost
interest in his scope, so I tried it out and and began to
explore the Moon and the Planets. Because of the need for higher
quality and magnification I soon upgraded to the
Meade ETX90 which made for better planetary
viewing. In 1998 I joined
the local astronomy club and acquired a C11 on a G11 mount.
Astro-related photographic film
experiments failed, but in 1999 I successfully introduced a webcam for
planetary imaging and motivated other colleagues of my club to do the
same. My wife Roswitha supported my new
hobby fascinated from the endless variety of objects to observe and to
To escape the painful setup
installation every night I built my own 3m observatory beside my house 25
km south of Graz during summer 2000 in a semi-rural environment (mag 5 sky
typical). Another big step into deep sky
astrophotography was the use of a digicam, starting with the Nikon CP995, later using the Canon D60, Canon 10D.
A simple CCD was used for autoguiding.
second high quality scope was a 4” f/6.5
TMB APO refractor. Ironically most times I was guiding with the C11 and imaging
with the 4” refractor. I accepted the lower cost
and big chip size of the Canon D-SLR with reduced efficiency, as no
reasonable priced CCD cameras were available up to 2003. To overcome the low quality of these raws I tried to compensate
it by long multiple exposures and tricky Photoshop processing. By doing
this I was pushing the limits of digicam imaging. At the beginning of the year 2004 SBIG released the STL-11000,
the first full frame CCD camera and I got one of the first
models. During the year
2004 I consequently explored mainly nebulas using the wide corrected field of my TMB. Also in 2004 my wife and I did our first trip to
Namibia, using most of the nights to image many fascinating southern
targets with the 4" TMB and the STL on my mobile setup.
Intense E-mail communication with colleagues all over the world
pushed my experience in image acquisition and processing.
Another dream came true in early 2005 when after a 2 years wait my
16" Cassegrain from P.
Keller was finished and installed in my observatory. This was a big step forward and
allowed for imaging
objects of various sizes in both medium to high resolution.
Using the very fast f/3 option of my cassegrain, I first tended to specialise in wider field images.
Later on I focused more on high resolution imaging using the STL-11000/STX-16803 with the cassegrain f/10 setup at 4
m focal lenght. From time to time I use a firewire b/w webcam typically at f/20 for
planets, Moon and Sun. In November 2005 I
have been invited to present a lecture at the Advanced Imaging Conference in San Jose, California where I focused on deep sky imaging with the
STL-11000 and image processing techniques. It was a great experience to meet with many other famous
astro-imagers face to face and enjoyed discussing with them. Also in November 2005 I aquired a TEC-140 f/7
APO refractor with field flattener to improve the resolution for my mobile
setup. This setup was used intensely for astro-imaging during my 2 week's
stays in Hakos/Namibia in Mai 2006 and in 2008, see results in section tips.
Since 2008 I have been working within a group to establish a remote observing site at a prime site, we finally could achieve first light end of of 2012 in our remote controlled observatory Chart32 housing a 32" cassegrain telescope at CTIO in Chile.
In 2015 I officially tested the new released Nikon D810A DSLR in Chile, see here the review and images.
I use to give lectures and presentations at astroimaging conferences and for astronomy clubs in many different countries.
heute: Articles and images
Vatican Observatory Calendar 2006,
2008, 2010 ff: Images
Interstellarum: Front page, articles and
Sky & Telescope: Front pages, articles and
Practical Astronomer: Front page and images
& Espace: Front page, articles and images
VSD: Article and images
ULYSSE: Article and images
Front page and images
Astrophotography (Ratledge David Ed.)
Chapter: Deep Sky
Imaging with a Digital SLR
Beautiful Universe 2008: Chapter/ images
Beautiful Universe 2009: images
Beautiful Universe 2010: images
Beautiful Universe 2012: Chapter/ images
Lessons from the Masters (Editor Rob Gendler): Chapter
2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
Panther Observatory at
Wildon, Austria (2000-2015)
Latitude: 46° 53‘ 02” North
Longitude: 15° 30‘ 27” East
Elevation: 370 meters
New Observing site
Chart32 Observatory at CTIO in Chile
remotely operated since 2013
Elevation: 2150 meters
Telescopes (Wildon Site)
mm (16-inch) Cassegrain by Phillip
prime focus at f/3 and corrected secondary focus at f/10
f/7 APO refractor with flattener
Used and recommended
Canon EF 200 mm f/2.8 L lens
Canon EF 100mm f/2 lens
Canon EF 50 mm 7/1.4 lens
Sigma Art 14 mm f/1.8 lens
ASA DDM85-XL direct drive mount with precision encoders
Autoslew control software astrometric syncronisation (Sequence), unguided operation possible up to 10 minutes
SBIG STX-16803, ST8300 with 5/8 pos. filter wheels
Canon 40D modified, Canon 6D
mm CLRGB filter set
Baader 7 nm H-alpha filter 65mm
Baader LRGB filter set 35mm
Baader 7 nm H-alpha filter 35mm
Baader 8 nm S-II filter 35mm
Baader 8 nm O-III filter 35mm
Baader continuum filter (narrow green) for solar imaging.
Atik 5x filter wheel 1,25"
Johannes and wife Roswitha at
their Panther Observatory