Vehrenberg Observatory

VehrenbergObservatory *
VehrenbergObservatory *
VehrenbergObservatory *

Many of the older generation of astronomers will be familiar with the name Dr. Hans Vehrenberg.  He was very active in the 1970’s and the author of several books.  He was also renowned as the co-editor of ‚Sterne und Weltraum‘, a well-known German astronomical magazine.  He has a special meaning for Hakos as he introduced amateur astronomy to us.  During his visits, back then on Hohenheim, he was an inspiration to Walter Straube in the field of astronomy and became partly responsible for the subsequent development of Hakos becoming an Astro Farm.  In his honour, we have decided to name the first established observatory on Hakos after him.

The Vehrenberg Observatory is located on the 1st floor in the immediate vicinity of the accommodation.  It has a 2.5 m x 4 m retractable roof and is accessible via a spiral staircase.  Next to it is a 3 m x 4.5 m observation platform with separate access.  This platform offers two solid columns of 16 cm in diameter, on which your own/hired instruments can be mounted.  Both the observatory and platform can be provided with an effective windbreak.  All-round visibility is slightly limited to the north by the retractable roof.

Mount:  The observatory houses a vintage professional Zeiss Jena mount, which is practically unlimited in its loading capacity and extremely wind resistant.  There are stepping motor drives in both axes and a Boxdörfer Powerflex MTS-4 control.  Auto-guiders can be connected to the controller.  In addition, sensitive manual correction is possible without vibration.  The tracking is virtually error-free and allows for a relaxed guiding.  Pitch circle use is possible in RA by converting to sidereal time.  The mount does not support GoTo functionality, so objects must be found manually.  However, tracking control with auto-guider is possible. 

Telescopes:  The C11 is a Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope with 28 cm aperture and ~ 2800 mm focal length.  In addition, the mount is equipped with a 7″ MEADE ED/APO (178mm f/9) refractor, which is very good for planetary observation and can be used as a guide-scope.  Astro-photographers can mount their camera with an appropriate adapter (please bring your own T-ring) directly in the focus of the instruments.  Ambitious astro-photographers could alternatively also pack their own instruments onto the mount.  The existing equipment can then be removed if necessary.  Appropriate  counterweights are available.  The C11 is equipped with a 3″ Losmandy rail and the mount has the appropriate clamping.

The counterweight axle offers space for at least 2 cameras.  A very stable tiltable bar has two photo screws (1/4″) for the cameras.  Again, the weight of the photo equipment does not matter.

The following accessories are available:

  • 2″ wide-angle eyepieces:  30 mm, 42 mm, 50 mm
  • 1¼“ adapter
  • 1¼“ Celestron eyepieces:  Kellner 9 mm, 12 mm, 25 mm, 40 mm, Erfle 20 mm, Wide-angle 30 mm, Ortho. 12.5 mm illuminated cross hair eyepiece with regulator
  • Off-axis system with extension sleeve
  • Eyepiece socket, Zenith prism, Telrad-finder, T2 connector
  • Auto-guider connection cable for ST4 and ST7/8

Current rental price per night: N$ 715.00  (includes observatory, mount, and both telescopes, C11 and 7″ Meade with accessories)
minimum rental period 3 nights

Please also note our general information for amateur astronomers.