Michael Geffert is an astronomer at the Argelander-Institut für Astronomie (AIfA) of the University of Bonn and at the Observatorium Hoher List near the city of Daun. He studied Physics and Astronomy at the University of Bonn (promoted in 1986). Since many years he engages himself for the topic Astronomy. Between 2006 and 2014, he organized the Public Relation department of AIfA, between 2007 and 2010 he coordinated the German activities for the International Year of Astronomy 2009. Geffert writes expert publications regularly and holds presentations for experts and amateurs. At the moment he is dealing with the building up of a collection of historical sky shots. Michael Geffert reflects a combination of scientific and artistic way of thinking. Since 1999 he is a member of the Bund Bildender Künstler Bonn and the artist group “Rhein & artig” and is a professional musician and since 2001 leader of a brass band.
Images of Stars and Galaxies
About 130 years ago, photography techniques started to revolutionize astronomy. Photo-graphs of starry sky were able to collect light longer than the naked eye and they were objec-tive documents for research. Observations in other wavelengths and the digital technique helped astronomers to reach new horizons of the astronomical research. Diagrams using these data, e.g. the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram were the starting point for the understanding of the nature of stars.
However, the time scale of astronomical processes is so large, which makes the observation for human beings not directly accessible. Only the modelling makes it understandable and helps scientists to visualize time processes in astronomy.
The photographic plate archive of Bonn’s observatory is a unique collection of moment re-cordings of starry sky. In Bonn they are currently working on a scientific analysis of the data. Furthermore, the data should also be used for the public outreach.