Kurt WOLFARTSBERGER has studied at the Technical University of Vienna mechanical engineering (Dipl.-Ing.) and since Highschool (Bundesrealgymnasium in Steyr) time his hobby is astronomy. His parents have always supported him very much so far and bought a small refractor telescope from KOSMOS 50/500 mm for me, which I often used during night time to observe some moons of planet Jupiter. I also have found a hobby astronomer collegue in Steyr, who has built his own oberservatory in the garden: Wilhelm AURACHER. And he was very professionel in grinding and polishing of lenses and mirrors for selfmade telescopes. I purchased from him my first Newton mirror telescope 100/1000 mm. One of his selfmade telescopes today is still running at the Gahberg oberservatory in Weyregg of 'Sternwarte des Astronomischen Arbeitskreises Salzkammergut', were I became a member of since my retirement. Covid19 has hindered my recent visit to this oberservatory till now, but a have close contact to Josef HAGER, who is very active at the Gahberg observatory. I have the chance to use just now his telescope N200 mm F4, which I use when the the weather has clear sky for taking photos.

LINK zu: The moon and the sun

LINK zu: My equipment

News (english)


The crab nebula M 1, March 1st, 2022

March 1st, 2022 again clear sky, no clouds - the mount is ready expecting dawn will darken the sky. The mount will be adjusted with ED80 refractor and 2-star method. First target is Mirach in constellation Andromeda and some quick photos. Also the galaxy M 33 photos taken by APO ED80. Then change to RCC 8 inch with 67% reduction lens. Mirach with NGC 404 (ghost) is the first target (2,05 mag - 200 lightyears -- NGC 404: 11,5 mag - 10 mio lightyears, distance to Mirach 7 arc minutes). Then the open star cluster M 52 in constellation Cassiopeija - the NOVA star from 2021 still good visible. Search for M 33, but not found. Next via Plejades to M 42 - the Great Orion nebula, taking some more photos: Then the crab nebula M 1, a supernova remnant some 1000 years ago, dicovered by chinese astronomers, they called it a 'guest star' - photo on left hand side (8,4 mag - 6,500 lightyears). Last Targets are the open star clusters in constellation Auriga, M 38 with NGC 1907, M 36, M 37 and M 35 with NGC 2158 in Gemini. All photos from RCC with reduced focus length to 1088 mm. 'Baby, its cold outside', some degrees below zero - I decide for: GAME OVER !

M 33 with APO ED80 --- Mirach with NGC 404 (ghost) RCC --- M 52 RCC --- M 42 with RCC 203-1088 mm

RCC: M 38 with NGC 1907 below --- RCC: M 36 --- RCC: M 37 --- RCC: M 35 and NGC 2158 --- ED80-600: M 35 and NGC 2158

Photo of great Orion nebula M 42, February 12th, 2022

February 12th, 2022 again good weather, only the moon light was rather strong and hindering good astro photos. Nevertheless my refractor telecope APO ED80-600 mm with SONY alpha58 mounted on EPM 35 Pro and SONY A 100 with tamron 15 - 250 mm zoom lens on LX 34 were ready again. The great Orion nebula M 42 was the first target - during wintertime a highlight object for each astronomer. Also the open star clusters in the constellation Taurus, the Hyades with main star Aldebaran and the Plejades ( M 45 ) were good targets to find. Both pictures were taken by the SONY alpha camera A 100 with a tamron zoom lens ( 90 mm resp. 250 mm ). Finally the open star cluster M 52 in the constellation of Cassiopeja with the NOVA star from year 2021. --- Another two pictures from M 42 taken on 23.2.2022 - clear sky and no disturbing moonlight. First picture take with APO ED80-600 mm and the second with 8 inch RCC with focus length reduction to 1088 mm.

Hyades and Plejades M 45 in Taurus with A 100 --- The Plejades M 45 with ED80 --- Open star cluster M 52 with NOVA Cass 2021 with ED80

M 42 with ED80-600 mm 243 sec --- M 42 with RCC 203-1088 mm 295 sec

Photo of Andromeda galaxy M31, February 9th, 2022

February 9th, 2022 no clouds the whole day - time for my refractor telecope APO ED80-600 mm with camera SONY alpha58 to be active. Already during daytime I started with the sun spots (photo below). You can see the comparison between the NASA photo from SDO (Solar Dynamics Observatory) and my ED80. The next photo from planet Jupiter setting between the trees and crows very early during dawn. Then the moon waxing at 61% illumination. With the 67% reduction lens my telescope reaches 402 mm focal distance: ideal for catching the entire Andromeda galaxy M31 with her neighbors M32 and M110, standing now high in the western sky. Unfortunately the moon was very close so the exposure time was limeted to 25 sec because of the moon light disturbance. Last picture of Mirach (Beta Andromeda) with his 'ghost' - a red giant star (apparent magnitude 2,1 mag) and a distance of approx. 200 light years and in distance of 7 arc minutes the small elliptic galaxy NGC 404 (distance from earth 10 Mio lightyears - apparent magnitude 12,54 mag). Thats why it is not so easy to take a good picture because the bright Mirach outshines the small galaxy very easy. Nevertheless the 'ghost' galaxy NGC 404 is good visible.

Comparison SDO (NASA) and APO ED80-600 from 2022-02-09

Jupiter setting in the dawn

The moon at 2022-02-09 waxing at 61% illumination

Mirach and 'ghost' NGC 404 -- Mirach and NGC 404 but with RCC telescope 8" F/8

Sun spots at winter begin, December 21st, 2021

December 21st, 2021 beginning of winter. I have observed the sun spots and took a picture. Camera SONY A 100 - Telescope M 100 - 1000 mm with sun filter. Comparison with SDO from NASA of course without atmosphere (copyright NASA). Next day telescope APO ED80 - 600 mm and camera SONY alpha58.

Comparison SDO (NASA) and M 100 Dec. 21st

Comparison SDO (NASA) and ED80 Dec. 22nd

Comparison SDO (NASA) and ED80 2022-01-15

Evening star planet Venus, November 23rd, 2021

November 23rd, 2021 I have catched the evening star Venus with my SONY alpha58 camera in the dawn period. The detailed picture was taken with my Maksutov telescope MCX127 with 1900 mm focus length and the camera SONY alpha 58 using a 2x digital zoom. The planet shows a moonlike sickel-shape with 40% lighting. Unfortunately the air condition was not good. - December 3rd 2021 the air quality was better (tamron 90 mm - 85 mm - 55 mm).

Venus with tamron 250 mm lens -- Venus with MCX127 - 1900 mm

Venus am 3. Dez. 2021 um 17:39 h -- Venus am 3. Dez. 2021 um 17:40 h -- Venus am 3. Dez. 2021 um 18:03 h -- Moon and Venus Dec 6th, 2021

Sun spots photo, October 29th, 2021

October 29th, 2021 a photo of the sun spots using the refractor telescope ED80-600 mm with Sony alpha58 in main focus.

Sun November 9th, 2021

Photo of M 57 Ring nebula in the constellation Lyra, clobular clusters M 56 (Lyra) and M 92 (Hercules), September 24th and 25th, 2021

September 24th and 25th, 2021 I have made photos of M 57 Ring nebula in the constellation of Lyra and from the clobular star clusters M 56 (Lyra) and M 92 (Hercules). I have used my refractor telescope SkyWatcher ED80-600 mm mounted on EPM 35 PRO together with the camera SONY alpha58 in main focus. - The picture left shows M 57 the Ring nebula in the constellation of Lyra. The origin was approx. 20,000 years ago when a star collapses by explosion and lost the outer region of itself. Today shows up as a socalled Planetary nebula in a distence from earth of 2,300 light years having an apparent magnitude of 8.8 mag. --- The globular star cluster M 92 in the constellation of Hercules has an approx. distance from earth of 27,000 light years with an age of about 13 billions years. The apparent magnitude is 6.3 mag - good visible with normal field glasses. Another picture from constellation Lyra showing the globular star cluster M 56, distance from earth approx. 33,000 light years and apparent magnitude of 8.3 mag. All pictures are stacked from single photos of exposure times of 20 to 30 seconds. Total exposure times ranging from 100 to 220 seconds.

Globular star cluster M 92 (Hercules) --- Globular star cluster M 56 (Lyra) -- The large gas planets Jupiter and Saturn

Picture of globular star cluster M 13 in the constellation of Hercules, September 6th, 2021

September 6th, 2021 I have made a photo of the globular star cluster M 13 in the constellation of Hercules. The telescope was the refractor from SkyWatcher ED80-600 mm mounted on EPM 35 PRO and camera SONY alpha58 in main focus. Exposure time 120 x 25 s stacked. - The globular cluster M 13 in the constellation of Hercules has an approx. distance from earth of 22,000 lightyears and is about 11 billion years old. The apparent magnitude is 5.8 mag - good seeing conditions make it visible for the unaided eye.

Moon photo SEP 13th, 2021 waxing 49% --- Moon photo SEP 14th, 2021 waxing 60%


Both pictures of the moon taken by telescope MC 100/1000 mm, exposure time 1/250 s in main focus of SONY alpha58.

View to the Universe, June 4th, 2021

June 4th, 2021 succeed to view to the distant universe. Telescope: APO ED80-600 mm mounted on SkyWatcher EPM35 - camera SONY alpha58 in mainfocus. - The picture shows the socalled 'LEO-Triplet', three distant galaxies in the constellation LEO - M65, M66 and NGC3628. The photo was stacked from single pictures with an exposure time of 45 sec with ISO 800, total exposure time around 68 minutes. The three galaxies form a group in a distance from earth of approx. 35 millions lightyears with an age of more than 13 billions years. Magnitude 9 to 10 mag, diameter 100,000 Lys. - July 12th, 2021 I had the chance to catch the globular star cluster M3 in the constellation canes venatici; the distance to earth is some 40,000 Lys - it is therefore part of our galaxy (milky way) - it contains approx. half a million of stars and the diameter is some 90 Lys. The apparent magnitude is 6,2 - therefore cannot be seen with the naked eye. Seven single photos taken with 30 sec exposure time, which results in a total time of 210 sec.

Picture with description

Globular cluster Messier 3

Sun- and moonphoto April 20th, 2021

April 20th, 2021 I catch a photo of sun and moon (55% waxing). Telescope: MC100-1000 mm on mounting SkyWatcher EPM35 - camera SONY alpha58.

Sun April 20th, 2021 decription und Sun April 20th, 2021 without

'Messier'-trip in constallations 'Taurus-Auriga-Cancer-Perseus' on April 11th, 2021

April 11th, 2021 clear sky developed in Steyr when the sun sets and there was a good chance for astro photos because the moon was invisible. I have used my refractor telescope ED 80-600 mm on the Skywatcher EPM35-mounting together with SONY alpha58 in main focus. After adjusting the mounting (with 2-stars methode) the first catch was M45 (Plejades) in constallation Taurus, even during dawn period (blue background) photo left hand side. Continued by the open star clusters M38 with NGC 1907 and M36, M37 and M35 with NGC 2158 right below M35, a side step to the nebula M1, a Supernova remnant from 1000 years ago, M44 in constallation 'Cancer' and Open Twin star cluster h and chi in 'Perseus' (also NGC 884 and NGC 869), where a small meteor or satelite joined on the picture. Exposure times always between half a minute and 90 seconds. Finally a photo from the planet 'Mars', travelling his way along the constallations 'Auriga' and 'Taurus'. - Charles Messier was an astronomer who issued his catalogue of more than 110 important objects of the sky all named with Mxx - Messier. NGC stands for New General Catalogue.

Mond and planet Mars form a magic square in constallation 'Taurus' March 18th, 2021

March 18th, 2021 planet Mars, the Plejades (M45), moon and the main star of constallation Taurus Aldebaran in the open star cluster of Hyades form a magic square. Although the weather was very bad I was really lucky when the clouds open up for a short period and i could catch the photos. I used my SONY alpha58 camera on the omegon LX3 mini mounting. Exposure time approx. 1 minute. The moon was rather bright with 24% , so it was not easy to catch the picture. You can also see the way the planet Mars has travelled through the 'Golden door of ecliptic'.

Moon and Mars March 18th, 2021

Planet Mars travels through 'Golden door of ecliptic' March 6th, 2021 and following days

Starting beginning of March 2021 the planet Mars is located mearby the Plejades (M45) and passes then the so called 'Golden door of ecliptic' in the constallation of Taurus. For this purpose the planet Mars travels between the two open star clusters of Hyades including the main star of Taurus Aldebaran (a red giant star) and the Plejades. Aldebaran (distance from earth 67 light years) has 1.16 times the mass of the sun, but his diameter is more than 45 times that of our sun and the illuminating power is 150 times that of the sun. On the photo left side you can see the red color light of planet Mars (called the 'red planet') in comparison to the stars of the Plejades, which are relative younger stars and shining white. The distance of Plejades open star cluster is approx. 1,350 light years, the Hyades's distance - also an open star cluster - is 151 light years. All pictures made by SONY alpha58, on mounting SkyWatcher EPM35. Exposure times approx. 3 minutes.

Mars in the 'Golden door' --- photo Mars on March 8th --- photo Mars on March 10th --- photo Mars on March 12th

Astro - photos from February 22nd til 26th, 2021

From February 22nd til 26th, 2021 there was excellent weather conditions with clear sky a good opportunity for astro photos. One disadvantage was the strong moonlight, avoiding longer exposure times. The sun spots were rather small and not special, the sun is not very active now. But the open star cluster M 45 the Plejades and the great Orion nebula M 42 were a good target. I heve used both SONY cameras alpha A 100 and alpha 58, as well as the camera mounting omegon LX3 for the tele lens tamron 250 mm. The refractor telescope ED 80-600 mm, the Maksutov MC 100-1000 mm and the reflector telescope RCC 203-1624 mm on SkyWatcher EPM 35 mounting were used.

Astro photos February 2021

Earth light photo of the moon February 14th, and two more photos from February 18th, 2021

On February 14th, 2021 and cold temperature of - 5 degree Celsius I made of photo of the waxing moon 8 % with tamron tele 250 mm and camera SONY alpha58 mount omegon LX3 lunar array drive. Exposure time 0.8 sec. The dark side of the moon becomes some reflection light from the earth.
Two more photos taken with refractor AD80/600 on EPM35 mount show the moon 40 % waxing (1/800 sec) and the Orion nebula M42 (exposure time 2 minutes) both with camera SONY alpha58 in the main focus.

Moon waxing 40 % and M42 Orion nebula

Sun spots picture December 27th, 2020

December 27th, 2020 a sun spots picture was taken using a AP80/600 mm refractor telescope. Picture data camera Sony alpha 58 in main focus - exposure time 1/1000 sec. A metal folie was used as a filter. The air was rather unsteady.

Great conjunction - Jupiter and Saturn at December 21st, 2020

Monday December 21st, 2020 17 h MET: my first sight to Gahberg was disappointing, all cloudy and had doubt that we can see anything today. But than the clouds open up at the southwest. I think the pictures say everything. The telescope photo (left) I have downloaded from a livestream from Cosmosapiens - located on the Canary Islands.

Trio Dec 21st, 2020
All three photos allone here: photo at 17:50 h - photo at 18:10 h - photo at 18:20 h

At 18:30 h all was over - the planets set down behind the clouds and mountains. --- Next to see in 2080 !

Photo Dec 26th at 16:55 MET and Photo Dec 26th at 17:14 MET again with distance.

'Great conjunction' - Jupiter and Saturn meet in December 2020

In December 2020 the two large planets Jupiter and Saturn meet very close for a 'Large conjunction' , of course seen from earth only. The two planets have different periods of revolution around sun - thats why this will repeat every 20 years aprox. But so close (only six minutes of arc = one fifth the size of the moon) they meet very seldom. Here a scetch of the orbits of the planets (© NASA APOD). On my photos from December 5th and 7th, 2020 the planets are not so close. Planet Jupiter shows his large moons - right hand side on the photo. Both pictures taken with SONY alpha 58 tele tamron 250 mm and auto tracked by EPM 35. Exposure times is 20 and 10 sec respectively. The pictures from December 14th and 18th, 2020 were taken from a webcam on Gahberg, because it was fogy in Steyr.

photo Dec 7th - webcam Dec 14th - webcam Dec 18th

Sunspots on December 2nd, 2020

Am 2. Dezember ist mir ein Foto der Sonne mit der neuen astrocam von Altair GPC 130 C BASIC gelungen. Nach Jahren der Inaktivität der Sonne im Minimum gibt es nun wieder Sonnenflecken - Gebiete mit ca. 1000 bis 1500 grad Kelvin niedrigerer Oberflächentemperatur. Die Camera war auf einem kosmos 50 / 500 mm Linsenfernrohr und auf der sky watcher EQM 35 PRO montiert. Belichtungszeit ca 5 ms. Es wurde ein Metallfolien - Sonnenfilter verwendet. Das Foto wurde aus 3 verschiedenen Aufnahmen zusammengesetzt.

Zum Vergleich eine HD Aufnahme der NASA vom SDO (Solar Dynamics Observatory), das im Weltraum auf einem Sateliten positioniert ist (copyright NASA).

Planet Jupiter and large moons - November 30th, 2020

Am 30. November ist mir erstmals ein Foto von den Jupitermonden mit der neuen astrocam von Altair GPC 130 C BASIC gelungen. Die Camera war am 1000 mm Maksutov und auf der sky watcher EQM 35 PRO montiert.

Comet Neowise 2020F3, July 19th, 20th and 22nd, 2020

July 19th, 20th and 22nd, 2020 again photos from comet Neowise 2020F3 with Canon EOS and tele lens 250 mm and Sony alpha58 with tamron 250 mm tele lens. As mount I have used my LX3. Exposure times from 30 sec til 2 minutes. Photos shot in Steyr, Neuschönau.

comet 2020F3

Comet Neowise 2020F3, July 12th, 2020

July 12th, 2020 in Steyr I had the chance to see the comet Neowise 2020F3. Two shots by my Sony alpha58 and the tamron 250 mm lens. At midnight again Jupiter with the four large moons with my MCX 127 and Sony alpha58. Enjoy the pictures.

again comet 2020F3 and Jupiter and moons

Full moon and moons of Jupiter, July 5th, 2020

July 5th, 2020 the moon was full again, a shot with Sony alpha58 tamron 250 mm and with telescope MCX 127 /1900 mm planet Jupiter with the large moons Callisto, Io, Ganymed and Europa. Jupiter was located approx five full moon diameters above the moon.

Jupiter and large moons

Full moon and planet Venus as a sickle, May 7th, 2020

May 7th, 2020 the full moon and planet Venus were objects for photos. The full moon picture made by Maksutov Cassegrain lens 100 / 1000 mm and planet Venus by Bresser Messier MCX telescope 127 / 1900 mm - Venus already very close to Earth. Both pictures with Sony alpha 58 in main focus.

course of planet Venus and Planet Venus at May 7th, 2020

Planet Venus at the Plejades April 5th, 9th, 2020

April 1st, 2020 at 23:31 MEST - photo of the moon with Bresser Messier MCX telescope 127 / 1900 mm - moon 56 % waxing. The second photo on the right one day later - 67 %. April 5th, 2020 at 20:56 h MEST again a photo of the planet Venus in the open cluster of Plejades. Camera: Sony alpha 58 with tamron 18 - 100 mm, exposure time approx. 40 sec. Another photo of Plejades with Venus - she has made her way up and away from the stars - on April 9th, 2020 21:27 MEST. Camera: Canon EOS with Zoom Lens EF-S 55 - 250 mm, exposure time 55 sec. Both pictures guided by Bresser Messier MCX.

Venus at April 9th, 2020

New photo of the moon, April 1st, 2nd, 2020

April 1st,2020 at 23:31 MEST a photo was taken with Bresser Messier MCX Telescope 127 mm / 1900 mm - waxing moon 56 %. The second photo was taken one day later, moon 67 %.

Moon waxing 67% 2020-04-02 at 23:43 MEST

Conjunction Moon - Venus - Plejades, March 28th, 2020

March 28th, 2020 there was a rare constellation shown in the sky: the young moon (four days) meets the planet Venus and open starfield of 'Plejades' in Taurus. The left picture shows the conjuntion at 19:13 h MET short after sunset, but before astronomic dawn (Plejades not be seen). - The second photo taken at 20:25 MET (exposure time approx 10 sec) shows already earth movement (stars no dots but lines); also to be seen is earth's backlight on the dark side of the moon. The Plejades to be seen in the top middle. Camera Sony alpha 58 with tamron 15 - 250 mm.

Picture from 20:25 pm MET

Merkurtransit November 11th, 2019

November 11th, 2019 after noontime it was after 2016 again the case of a so called Merkurtransit: planet Merkury is positioned between the sun and earth and can be seen as a small black dot before sun. As Merkury is so small it can be seen by a telescope only; a special filter is necessary as the sun is too bright not to damage the eyes. Compared to 2016, this time the weather was bad and cloudy, no free sight to the sun in Steyr. So you had to observe the case via internet from the observatory on mountain Pico del Teide, Canary Islands. The pictures above are from Solar Scope, Canary Islands and their copyright. On the second picture you can see the the view from Solar Scope and the moon is rising in the background.