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Stathis and  the Universe

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When I was 15, I cannibalized the spectacles of my mother, build a cardboard "telescope" with it and started to collect stardust (see my very first drawing of the Plejades). Like a pirate on the lookout leaning out of the window I found with it the Andromeda Galaxy, after heaving read various interesting stories about this remote worlds. Just a faint fuzzy patch in the sky - but it should change my life.

10x50 Binoculars on "Greek Mount". Lying Observing (Chios /GR 1988)
In the following years I got familiar with the sky with a pair of low budget binoculars. Today I would refuse to even look through them, but at that time I ate large amounts of carrots (I thought, that the vitamin A would boost averted vision) and improved my deep sky observing skills starting from the Plejades up to those "faint fuzzies" like M103 Cas or M65/66 Leo.
fernglas_10x50_in_chios.jpg (64064 Byte) Due to the engagement of his mother my school friend Andreas and I could borrow a 68 mm refractor from school - in that times for us an otherwise unaffordable instrument. I will never forget, how the "smoke ring" (Ring Nebula) looked like through a "real telescope" and how bitterly cold it was, to guide our first piggy pack exposures of the Orion Nebula.
comet_catcher1.jpg (45901 Byte) My first own telescope was a Celestron Comet Catcher on a self made wooden fork mount. The mount proved good, the wide field views were nice, but at higher magnifications it delivered miserable images. At that time I made some hand guided photographs with a piggi pack mounted 200 mm telephoto lens mainly in Greece (see historic image galery). 
archimedes_gesamt.jpg (88274 Byte) How a really sharp bright image looks like, I should experience not before 1990, when I grinded my first mirror, a 10" f/5.4. "Archimedes" succeeded right from scratch and attracted as one of the first Dobsonians in my vicinity at that time many star gazer friends in the Berlin area.

Quickly new Dobsonians jointed.

"Dobo- Mania" holds me tight and so I build since more than 30 years now more and more lightweight and compact Dobsonians and travel with them into dark transparent skies: Outskirts of Berlin, mountains next to Munich, Alps, Olympus and other nice places in Greece, Kenya, Namibia, Bolivia, Chile, Venezuela, the best memories are connected with this places. All mirrors are self made. I suffer under incurable Aperture Fever, but have to remain mobile, and so I make my telescopes as "minimalistic" as possible and fast to set up without tools. 

Since many years I am mainly a visual Deep Sky observer, but more and more I use less optimal conditions for astrophotography out of the city. My favorite objects include faint large Abell planetaries, and galaxies in all sizes and shapes, but the eye is happy about a good Jupiter image or a nice comet as well. 

Since 2002 I lead the ATM group in Munich/ Germany, which is to my great joy still highly frequented. Many fine mirros and telescopes full of innovations have been made.

I am glad to receive all kinds of comments and questions, tips and trends around amateur astronomy and telescope making. With pleasure I drive with other star gazers to the mountains near Munich or into the Alps. You can contact me at my e-mail address or by phone as well: +49 / 89 / 62 42 01 71

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