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–part 1 of the essay One year on Mt. Wendelstein–
Astronomy and infrared go hand in hand. I am an astrophysicist who is working at the Wendelstein observatory in the Bavarian alps, where I am in charge of our multi-band camera 3KK which can see simultaneously in the optical and infrared. This, of course, inspires my photography and vice versa. Being an observer throughout the year is challenging. While summer nights are short and pleasant, although sometimes exciting (in a bad way) when one is right inside a thunderstorm, winter nights can be tough. Working schedules of 16 hours, instrument malfunctions in the cold or having to physically dig through the snow are just a few examples. However, one can never stay mad at Mt. Wendelstein for every time there are different facets of beauty: spectacular sunsets, cloud inversions and special occurrences like lunar eclipses make everything worthwhile. In this essay, I tried to document my impressions throughout the year in different parts of the spectrum.
Hiking up to Mt. Wendelstein at an altitude of 1842m is not easy but quite enjoyable. In spring, summer and autumn I often walk if I don’t have to take too much gear with me. This photo shows the location where you can see the mountaintop and our observatory clearly for the first time. It’s always my favourite moment when taking friends up with me to see their reactions.