Förderverein Sternwarte Laufen e.V.

Die gleiche Information in deutscher Sprache.

Address and members:

Förderverein Sternwarte Laufen e.V.
c/o Jakub Sefrhans
Richard-Strauss-Straße 9
D-83395 Freilassing

Founder members (from left to right):
Erhard Wiegner
Manfred Mayer
Rudi Reiser (Chairman)
Otto Pilzer
Klaus Eder
Gerardo Inhester (Secretary)

Treasurer: Bernhard Kindermann

About the Observatory and this Society

These www-pages give you some information about the activities of the different workgroups of the observatory, especially about the purpopses of this non-profit-making supportive society. Observatories are valuable institutions for the scientific education in of students and adults and should therefore be promoted. The managing committee is gladly at your's disposal to answer your questions.
For questions or suggestions please contact Otto J. Pilzer

How Came the Observatory to the Town of Laufen?

In the early seventies the administrative district of Laufen inherited a complete observatory equipment and a small wooden dome for the local grammar school. Because there was only a quite steep ladder to the observatory and room was only available for a small number of visitors, no public access was possible. In the course of some reconstruction of the school building in the years 1987/88, the opportunity was taken to get more spacious rooms and a new fibre glass dome for the observatory.

Working Groups

In the early years the observatory was used by some astronomy classes only. In 1986 some students of the grammar school founded the Astronomische Arbeitsgruppe Laufen e.V. (AAL), which was granted access to the observatory after the completion of the reconstruction in 1987/88. From there on the observatory was open to the public.
Together with the AAL the head of the school's observatory, OStR Gerardo Inhester, arranged the first open day in 1989. Since then every year an open day with about 200 to 300 visitors is held. Besides that we offer an observation of the sun or an astro evening event every first Saturday of each month which everyone is invited to attend.


Up to May 25th 1996 the main instrument was an 8'' refractor with a focal length of 133cm of Carl Zeiss, Jena. The age of the refractor was hardly to be estimated because some main construction plans were supposedly destroyed in World War II. With regard to the technology at that time there was no coating. Because the aperture was quite large for a refractor there was a strong chromatic abberation.
The mount was around 25 years old. Thus it was technically out-dated and because of some smaller construction faults hardly usable for more sophisticated tasks.
The set of oculars, also dated around 1930, was piece by piece replaced by common oculars during the last years. This could only be accomplished by the financial support of the parents' council.

From the above description one can easily draw the conclusion, that the equipment was not well suitable for serious astronomical observations as part of astronomy classes. This was a pity because few grammar schools have their own observatories anyway and there is a great public interest in astronomy as one can see from the "comet fever" in the last years.

After the very expensive reconstruction of the school building there was no hope for further financial support by the autorities of the administrative district. The annual budget only meets the regular expenses and equivalates to the value of some technical books or an ocular.

Therefore the help of this supportive society was useful. With the money we got from foundations, banks, companies and surrounding towns we were able to buy a Meade 16'' LX200 with a cardanically mounted 5'' apo guide telescope. Furthermore the observatory could be supported with a binocular eypiece holder from Zeiss, a 0.5 Å H-alpha-filter and necessary eyepieces. Now the equipment is suitable for serious work and education in astronomy as part of the scientific eduacation of the students. Additionally even newbies in astonomical observations visiting the observatory are now able to admire the beauty of the starry sky without any difficulties.

Ames of the Society in the Future

To buy an appropriate CCD camera we ask everyone interested in our work to support the society by a donation. We are a non-profit-making society and thus every donation is tax deductible.
Another aim in the future will be the support of students doing astronomical research during their education exspecially in higher grades.

Otto J. Pilzer, 2022-04-02
Rudi Reiser, 1994-11-13
Klaus Eder, 1995-01-22