Some photographic impressions from the life of an astronomer:

Laser Show over Mt Graham: A full night at the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope on Mt Graham. The two telescopes in the field of view are the Submillimeter Telescope (left) and the Large Binocular Telescope (right). The green lasers coming from the LBT are part of the ARGOS project that provides an artificial guide star for LBT’s adaptive optics facilities.

A bad night on the MMT. The MMT is located on Mt. Hopkins, South of Tucson, Arizona. The camera is pointing South towards Nogales, Mexico. At the beginning of the night, the sky was somewhat clear with distant thunderstorms. The high humidity forced clouds to form occasionally and then we got clouded out entirely briefly after moonrise. Unfortunately, we could not obtain any data during this run.

Timelapse of the Lunar Eclipse on 27 September 2015. The camera is pointing towards the East near Flagstaff. The video starts around the totality and covers roughly 2 hours. The lights on the horizon are cars on Interstate 40 and trains. The video shows how quickly the moon becomes brighter after leaving the totality zone.

Moonrise at Horseshoe Bend near Page, Northern Arizona. Time-lapse video of the Colorado river and its canyon during moonrise. The moon rises in the background and throws long shadows into the canyon. In the background, Venus, the Plejades, and eventually Orion set.


Space-Selfie: asteroid 12893 Mommert is moving in the lower right of the image with some galaxies at the top and a saturated star at the bottom. 12893 is a main belt asteroid with a diameter of approximately 7 km. Thanks again to my former colleagues at DLR for naming the asteroid after me!

A night at the VATT. Time-lapse video of the night sky as seen from the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT) on Mt. Graham, Arizona. The two wildly spinning telescopes in the video are the Submillimeter Telescope (SMT, left) and the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT, right). You see the rising constellations of Bootes, Corona Borealis, and Lyra, as well as some passing clouds, over the course of a few hours.


MMT spinning. The MMT is a 6.5m telescope on Mt. Hopkins in Arizona, close to Tucson. This telescope facility was the first to feature a co-rotating building, which allows the telescope to be mounted in an altitude-azimuth fashion. This image shows the telescope building’s rotation in a 90s exposure, taken during an observing run in Jan 2015. Despite the seemingly blue sky, the image was taken at night with the full moon up, as you can see in the star trails in the background.


Sunrise over the Santa Rita Mountains as seen from Kitt Peak. The little black box on the right-hand side of the image is the MMT (Nov 2013).


Moonrise over Tucson, as seen from Kitt Peak (Nov 2013).