PDA

View Full Version : Astronomy sites to see in Bavaria or Switzerland



George
2013-Apr-07, 10:12 PM
Are there some nice sites or museums to see in the Munich region and in Switzerland, especially Zurich? I should have a few days to have fun, hopefully. This is extremely rare for me and I hate to miss seeing a Franhaufer museum or something.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Bynaus
2013-Apr-08, 07:16 AM
In Zurich itself, there is the Urania observatory (http://www.urania-sternwarte.ch/). On Uetliberg (which is a hill right to the south of Zurich) there is a scaled "solar system" to walk along (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planetenweg_Uetliberg%E2%80%93Felsenegg), with the sun situated within a few meters of the end-point of the train that goes to the top of the hill, and Pluto at the end of a 5 km hike along the hill. In Winterthur, a city of 100'000 north of Zurich, there is the kind-of-famous Eschenberg observatory (http://www.eschenberg.ch/), from where several asteroids were detected. If you mind going to Lucerne, about an hour's train drive from Zurich, there is the Verkehrshaus (http://www.verkehrshaus.ch/) (a trafic museum, which has some space hardware and a planetarium). The dinosaur museum (http://www.sauriermuseum.ch/) in Aathal (which is a village about 30 min train drive - S-Bahn S14 - to the east of Zurich) has a collection of meteorites and - as you might have suspected - a lot of dinosaurs. Other meteorites, and some additional rocks can be found at the focusterra exhibition (http://www.focusterra.ethz.ch/) at ETH Zurich (in the center of the city). I am not aware of anything more exciting or important in the region around Zurich (but Munich, I don't know). Hope that helps! And have a good time there...

George
2013-Apr-08, 01:28 PM
Thanks, Byanus! The Urania observatory is beautiful and I will likely get to visit it.

pumpkinpie
2013-Apr-08, 02:11 PM
If you can make it to Bern, visit the Einstein Haus. Einstein lived there from 1903-1905, where he developed the Special Theory of Relativity and began work on the General Theory.

Visiting it was the highlight of my 2-week stay in Germany and Switzerland.

http://www.einstein-bern.ch/index.php?lang=en

Marakai
2013-Apr-08, 09:44 PM
If you're at all scientifically and technologically minded you simply cannot go to Munich without visiting the Deutsches Museum, the largest of its kind in the world. Covering all fields of science and engineering it has a large space & astronomy exhibit (multiple ones in fact) as well. I only get back to Germany every blue moon, but one day is always reserved for my "pilgrimage" to that temple of knowledge. :)

Solfe
2013-Apr-09, 04:04 AM
Try Nördlinger Ries, it isn't exactly a site. It would be kind of cool to kick back and enjoy lunch and a beer in a crater. Nördlingen has a moon rock in the museum. I have never been there, but my sister-in-law raved about the buildings and history there.

Bynaus
2013-Apr-09, 01:23 PM
Yes, Nördlinger Ries is nice, although - don't expect anything like meteor crater in Arizona. It's much bigger, much older and thus its almost not visible unless you know what to look for. The church is made of Suevite (impact breccia), I think it's the only of its kind in the world - from the tower, you have a very nice view over the town and on a clear day, you can see the rim of the crater (Nördlingen is almost at its center). The museum at the center of the town (called the "Rieskratermuseum") is well worth a visit.

George
2013-Apr-09, 04:12 PM
Thanks everyone. Those are nice places.


Try Nördlinger Ries, it isn't exactly a site. It would be kind of cool to kick back and enjoy lunch and a beer in a crater. Nördlingen has a moon rock in the museum. I have never been there, but my sister-in-law raved about the buildings and history there. This isn't too far from Rothenburg ob der tauber, an old walled-city by a small river with excellent shops and restaurants. I realize, as Bynaus mentions, that it won't look like a crater, sinc it's covered with buildings, etc. but the Suevite church is worth the trip by itself. I recall a documentary on this.

This trip is with my wife and I, so museums are probably not going to fit us, unless it has something with big aperture :). Mountain scenery will be high on our list. The gondola ride out of Salzburg was fantastic for us small hill-country Texans.

TooMany
2013-Apr-11, 06:11 AM
If you're at all scientifically and technologically minded you simply cannot go to Munich without visiting the Deutsches Museum, the largest of its kind in the world. Covering all fields of science and engineering it has a large space & astronomy exhibit (multiple ones in fact) as well. I only get back to Germany every blue moon, but one day is always reserved for my "pilgrimage" to that temple of knowledge. :)

That's inspiration for a visit! When I was a kid, I visited the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. A long time ago, but I still remember many details. Mind expanding!

George
2013-Apr-28, 05:51 PM
Well, we made it back.

We were fortunate to accidentally pick the night of the lunar eclipse (last Thur.) to visit the Urania-Sternwarte observatory. Very classy! The 300mm Zeiss objective refractor from 1907 -- refurbished in 2007 -- was great for viewing Jupiter and Saturn that night. It was crowded but I managed to time my moment at the scope to be about the moment of greatest (partial) eclipse with the hope of imaging with my iphone. Unfortunately, it was on Saturn! [We viewed the Moon after the eclipse was over.] :(

The eclipse was more noticeable than I expected as viewed from one of the 3 or 4 little baclonies. These balconies are about 170 ft. up and the floor suddenly slopes outward because of the location of their rain drain. Any fear of heights, like I have, will limit your enjoyment of the great views of the city in the foreground and the mountains and heavens in the background.

What surprised me most was the very active and loud bar located a floor below us, located where the large windows are in the image. It cost about $18 per adult to enter into their nightly presentation, but the bar proceeds should add a lot more to the funding, assuming the observatory keeps it. Clever idea, really. The sounds and vibrations from the bar could not be felt in the dome.


18398


I highly recommend visiting the town of Murren, Switzerland. Here is a view from our bedroom at the SportChalet (only ~ $125 per night for two twin beds and a hall bathroom). We could not drive there, much to our surprise, and had to take two cable cars up to get into an almost deserted town, due to this off-season period. It appears to be a fantastic skiing area as the lifts go up perhaps 7,000 feet from Murren.


18399