Summer Milky Way, Farm Hakos, Namibia, SW-Africa. (Gerald Rhemann)

Orion, Eichgraben/Lower Austria, January 2011. (Gerald Rhemann)

Many recently looked up at the stars to get a glimpse of the spectacular Perseid meteor shower that fell across the night sky on Wednesday evening. Austrian astrophotographer Gerald Rhemann has been gazing up and photographing stunning sky vistas for decades.

“From the beginning I was interested to image distant galaxies, nebula and comets,” Rhemann tells In Sight. “I very quickly noticed that imaging under the light-polluted skies of my backyard in Vienna didn’t lead to photographic success, because those objects are very faint.”

So he began observing places in the Austrian Voralpen (the foothills of the Alps), which has no light pollution and very dark skies.


Constellation Scorpius, from Farm Tivoli, Namibia/SW Africa, June 2013. (Gerald Rhemann)

M3, Emberger Alm, Austria, Austria 2013. (Gerald Rhemann)

Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy, Eichgraben, Lower Austria. (Gerald Rhemann)

Helix Nebula Constellation Aquarius, taken from Farm Tivoli, in Namibia SW Africa, August 2014. (Gerald Rhemann)

OPHIUCHI taken from the Farm Tivoli/Namibia/SW-Africa. (Gerald Rhemann)

Rhemann later began frequenting Namibia in southwest Africa to photograph the far southern heavens from the Kalahari Desert, and he built a fully remote-controlled observatory in Eichgraben near his home in Vienna.

Today, cooled CCD-cameras with various filters are used for astrophoto imaging. Long exposure times can last up to several hours, so a precise motorized mount that compensates for the rotation of earth is required.

“My passion over the past three years shifted towards imaging of comets which is one of the biggest challenges in astrophotography,” Rhemann said.


Part of VELA SNR from the Farm Tivoli, Namibia/SW-Africa, August 2010. (Gerald Rhemann)

NEBULA ANTARES/OPHIUCHI, Farm Tivoli/Namibia/SW-Africa. (Gerald Rhemann)

M78 Orion from Eichgraben/Lower Austria, August 2011. (Gerald Rhemann)

Reflection and Emission Nebulas Scorpius/Ophiuchus IMAGE DETAIL, arm Tivoli, Namibia/SW Africa, May 2012. (Gerald Rhemann)

Large Magellanic Cloud Constellation Mensa/Dorado, May 2012, Farm Tivoli, Namibia

NGC 6188/ARA, Farm Tivoli/Namibia/SW-Africa. (Gerald Rhemann)

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