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New dome for Wendelstein Observatory

The ongoing modernization of the Wendelstein Observatory has reached another milestone: In the end of September the observatory on mount Wendelstein was provided with a new dome. The dome, financed by the Excellence Cluster Universe, serves to operate an auxiliary 40-centimeter telescope. This telescope will support the future 2-meter telescope by monitoring atmospheric conditions, thus ensuring reliable data calibration of its bigger counterpart. The 2-meter telescope will be equipped with specialized instruments also financed from the Cluster’s funds, including optical CCD and near infrared cameras as well as spectrographs. Operation of the new telescope is expected to start in 2010.


The current investments by the Cluster, the Land Bayern and the LMU allow significant improvements of Germany’s highest observatory. They will enhance the observational part of the Cluster’s research program especially in studying the three-dimensional distribution of galaxies.

The dome’s installation was carried out at ideal weather conditions. A helicopter delivered the dome with a diameter of 3.2 meters to 1.848 meters high Wendelstein. The first functional tests were performed only 2 hours following delivery. Further works ahead include the completion of the external shelling of the dome’s foundations, electrical installations and the re-mounting of the 40-cm telescope.

by B. Wankerl

Technische Universitaet Muenchen
Exzellenzcluster Universe

Boltzmannstr. 2
D-85748 Garching

Tel. + 49 89 35831 - 7100
Fax + 49 89 3299 - 4002