chi and h site logo

Stockert radio telescope

radio telescope with sage in the foreground
Stockert radio telescope with sage in the foreground.

The Stockert radio telescope was constructed in 1956, and the Förderverein Astropeiler Stockert took the opportunity to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary in 2006. In the years 1985/86 I worked as operator at the Stockert radio telescope. Even before that I had taken part in a student practical there. From this resulted two articles for the journal of the amateur astronomy society Volkssternwarte Bonn. During the research for one of these articles, Prof. Wolfgang Priester gave me a photocopy of a newspaper article of 1957; the staff of the Universitätssternwarte Bonn concocted this April Fool's prank in the year after construction.

All these articles are available in transcripts of their German originals:

During a visit to the area in August 1999, I found the Stockert surrounded by a golf course and the observatory grounds owned by some company. In the 1980s we had used the 25 metre dish to make sensitive final calibration measurements for a survey of 11 cm radio continuum radiation. After that programme was completed I suppose there was nothing else to do for the telescope. Attempts by a third party to create a golf course and to include the observatory grounds and buildings in it met with resistance from the villagers of Eschweiler. One argument was the wildlife in the grounds. I guess the observatory was sold separately to some company around the time the golf course became reality. I gather the company ran into financial trouble and in 2005 the grounds were sold to the NRW Stiftung (a trust of the Land Nordrhein-Westfalen). The telescopes are now in the care of the Förderverein Astropeiler Stockert.

See also