In collaboration with the
International Astronomical Union


Category of Astronomical Heritage: tangible immovable
Stockert radio telescope, Germany

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    Presentation

    Geographical position 
    • InfoTheme: The development of radio astronomy
      Entity: 39
      Subentity: 1
      Version: 1
      Status: PUB
      Date: 2011-08-22 11:08:01
      Author(s): Richard Wielebinski

    Stockert mountain, D–53902 Bad Münstereifel, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

     

    Location 
    • InfoTheme: The development of radio astronomy
      Entity: 39
      Subentity: 1
      Version: 2
      Status: PUB
      Date: 2012-04-30 16:38:52
      Author(s): Richard Wielebinski with contributions by Clive Ruggles

    Latitude 50° 34′ 10″ N, longitude 6° 43′ 19″ E. Elevation 435m above mean sea level.

     

    General description 
    • InfoTheme: The development of radio astronomy
      Entity: 39
      Subentity: 1
      Version: 1
      Status: PUB
      Date: 2011-08-22 11:08:01
      Author(s): Richard Wielebinski

    The 33,000m² property holds the 25m radio telescope together with 10m millimetre radio telescope, a laboratory/workshop building, a residence for observers and a house for the site manager.

     

    Brief inventory 
    • InfoTheme: The development of radio astronomy
      Entity: 39
      Subentity: 1
      Version: 5
      Status: PUB
      Date: 2012-08-01 23:17:05
      Author(s): Richard Wielebinski with contributions by Clive Ruggles

    The 25m radio telescope stands on a pyramidal base, with technical rooms spread through several stories. All the electrical supply rooms are in the basement of the pyramid. The upper floors host the control room, receiver controls, computers, etc.

    When the telescope was inaugurated in 1956, it had a mast supporting a dipole-reflector feed (1 in Fig. 1). In 1968 the dipole feed was replaced by a four-leg support system that permitted either prime focus or secondary focus operation. The low noise receivers (LNRs) were normally placed in the cabin behind the elevation drive (5). The azimuth drive (6) operated through a gear that allowed full rotation. This required a complex system of brush contacts (10) between the LNRs and the back-end electronics.

    Fig. 1: The original technical drawing of the 25m Stockert telescope. After P.G. Mezger, Technische und astronomische Messungen
    mit dem Bonner 25m Radioteleskop, Telefunkenzeitung 122 (1958), 213-223

     

    History 
    • InfoTheme: The development of radio astronomy
      Entity: 39
      Subentity: 1
      Version: 2
      Status: PUB
      Date: 2012-10-19 21:46:26
      Author(s): Richard Wielebinski with contributions by Wolfgang Herrmann

    The 25m Stockert radio telescope was used for astronomical research from its inauguration in 1956 until its closure in 1995. Between 1956 and 1966 it was run by the Bonn University Astronomy Department. In 1966 the Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie was founded in Bonn and took over operations at the Stockert site. In 1978, however, after the 100m Effelsberg radio telescope had been completed, the operation of the Stockert site reverted to Bonn University.

    Bonn University sold the Stockert site to an investor in 1995, and in that same year a foundation called the ‘Förderverein Astropeiler Stockert e.V.’ was set up with the aim of restoring the 25m radio telescope. This group of active supporters started to press for the status of a ‘historical monument’ for the radio telescope, and this was achieved in 1999. In 2005 the Nordrhein-Westfalen-Stiftung purchased the site from the former investor and allocated funds for a massive refurbishing of the instrument, thus promising a secure future.

     

    Cultural and symbolic dimension 
    • InfoTheme: The development of radio astronomy
      Entity: 39
      Subentity: 1
      Version: 1
      Status: PUB
      Date: 2011-08-22 11:08:01
      Author(s): Richard Wielebinski

    Observations with the Stockert radio telescope were made at 21 and 11 cm wavelength. Several extended surveys were made of both the radio continuum and the HI line. Pulsar observations were also carried out with the Stockert telescope.

     

    Authenticity and integrity 
    • InfoTheme: The development of radio astronomy
      Entity: 39
      Subentity: 1
      Version: 2
      Status: PUB
      Date: 2012-08-01 23:18:58
      Author(s): Richard Wielebinski with contributions by Clive Ruggles

    In order to maintain the structure of the telescope, rusted sections have been replaced and the whole instrument has been painted. Virtually every system of the telescope needed new electronics: the drive system and the astronomical control system as well as the receivers have been renewed. Many of the old electronic racks are still standing: they will be preserved as historical background.

    Fig. 2: A recent aerial photograph of the Stockert site. © Robert Spieß, Essen

     

    Management and use

    Present use 
    • InfoTheme: The development of radio astronomy
      Entity: 39
      Subentity: 1
      Version: 2
      Status: PUB
      Date: 2012-10-19 21:48:08
      Author(s): Richard Wielebinski with contributions by Wolfgang Herrmann

    The observational possibilities have been modernized by the association and the site is now used by universities and schools for educational purposes. Routine radio astronomy observations are performed by the members of the association.

    The site is open for visitors as published on the site’s website.

     

    Protection 
    • InfoTheme: The development of radio astronomy
      Entity: 39
      Subentity: 1
      Version: 1
      Status: PUB
      Date: 2011-08-22 11:08:01
      Author(s): Richard Wielebinski

    Since 1999 the Stockert radio telescope has had the status of a ‘historical monument’.

     

    Management, interpretation and outreach 
    • InfoTheme: The development of radio astronomy
      Entity: 39
      Subentity: 1
      Version: 2
      Status: PUB
      Date: 2012-10-19 21:49:49
      Author(s): Richard Wielebinski with contributions by Wolfgang Herrmann

    The further use of the Stockert telescope has been entrusted to the association. Their aim is to preserve the historical instrument for posterity and keep it in a fully functional state.

     

    References

    Bibliography (books and published articles) 
    • InfoTheme: The development of radio astronomy
      Entity: 39
      Subentity: 1
      Version: 2
      Status: PUB
      Date: 2012-04-30 16:50:49
      Author(s): Richard Wielebinski with contributions by Clive Ruggles

    • Mezger, P.G. (1958). ’Technische und astronomische Messungen mit dem Bonner 25m Radioteleskop‘, Telefunkenzeitung 122, 213-223.
    • Wielebinski, R. (2007). ’Fifty years of the Stockert Radio Telescope and what came afterwards‘, Astronomische Nachrichten 328(5), 388-394.

     

    Links to external sites 
    • InfoTheme: The development of radio astronomy
      Entity: 39
      Subentity: 1
      Version: 3
      Status: PUB
      Date: 2014-01-10 09:55:17
      Author(s): Richard Wielebinski with contributions by Wolfgang Herrmann

    www.astropeiler.de

     

    Links to external on-line pictures 
    • InfoTheme: The development of radio astronomy
      Entity: 39
      Subentity: 1
      Version: 3
      Status: PUB
      Date: 2012-11-11 09:54:27
      Author(s): Richard Wielebinski with contributions by Wolfgang Herrmann

    3D animated pictures of the site are available at

     

    Theme

    The development of radio astronomy

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