Complete observatory donated

The families Spaich & Maderner from Mössingen and Mengen donated the complete observatory of Dr. Friedebert Maderner to the STScI. The first-class ensemble of several lens and reflector telescopes as well as the corresponding guiders and eyepieces will be used in our school lab for observations.

Report by Ralf Schmidt

Journey into the past of a hobby astronomer

It was already a great news, which we got a few weeks ago from Mössingen. Observatory to give away! The pictures smell like a little adventure. During the four and a half hour drive to Mössingen many thoughts went through our minds. What would await us? A phone call with our vanguard Hans Werner increased our tension immensely. Heavy mounting! Not to get away! Self-construction of the mount with, until then never seen technical implementation! Many telescopes!

One hour further we are on site and are welcomed very friendly by family Spaich. A small reception with Swabian delicacies is already prepared. We have thankfully refused according to the motto, first the work then the pleasure. But actually it was the high expectations and the excitement about what is to come.

On we went to an old barn, which apparently had been sleeping for 20 years. The way led us over a wooden staircase to the attic of the barn. After we arrived at Hans Werner the creaking hatch had to be closed, in order to be able to stand at all in the area of the mounting. A gigantic self-assembly greeted us. The part looked like a drum revolver with cartridges of different sizes. Our professionals were visibly impressed. I only heard Booooei, Lichtenknecker, madness, Maksutov, Cassegrain, I freak out, unbelievable!

In the adjoining room stood a perfectly equipped workshop of the 90s with a lathe, drilling machines, jigsaws, electronic controls and a lot of tinkering stuff. What kind of person was this Dr. Maderner? As a dentist he was probably an ingenious inventor after work, who spent his free time exclusively developing and building. We were mentally trapped in his life’s work and had some inhibitions to destroy it. But now it started anyway and we went ahead. The revolver was expertly filleted by us, the telescopes brought down, and a lot of small stuff loaded. Afterwards we sat nicely together with family Spaich and ate the now deserved Swabian specialities. A nice end in the hotel rounded off the day. With the knowledge to return to the barn tomorrow, we all slept happily. The next day brought to light among other things the 100 mm eyepiece that Thomas and Klaus had been searching for years, with which we can now use the large 80 cm telescope of the observatory visually.







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