About Dr. Christian Sasse
Dr. Christian Sasse is the host of iTelescope.Net Sky Tours and the owner of Telescope 17.
I first touched on astronomy when I did my PhD in optics on experimental light scattering of particles with a laser. Finnish astronomers were interested in my lab and we performed measurements on asteroid particles together. It was so much fun, but unfortunately my PhD ended one day. Realizing that earning money is helpful, I followed an engineering career in industry which I fully enjoyed.
Astronomy has always fascinated me, however it was the rapid advancement of cameras and telescope controls that really got me hooked. I lived in many countries: in Sweden in 2000 I bought my first telescope and camera, and will never forget the tremendous excitement when the first distant galaxies appeared on my laptop screen. I invited my neighbor over into my garden to have a look at the results, but he did not share my enthusiasm and instead pondered quietly for a few minutes and then looked up into the night sky and asked: “How far can you see with that thing?” At that moment I was taken aback and answered:” Maybe a few hundred million light years, maybe a billion or so” Ever since that evening I became obsessed with that question, it was almost like asking how big the universe is.
It would take many years until I would be able to answer the question - I joined ITelescope, saved money and invested in better equipment. Finally in 2011 after lots of failures I was able to commission the fabrication of a new star machine (telescope) that I felt certain would allow us ‘amateurs’ to peer back in time, to galaxies far, far away. The object of interest was a certain quasar in Ursa Major, powered by a supermassive black hole 3 billion times the mass of our Sun. An ancient quasi stellar object with a redshift of z=6.41 and thus its light has been travelling for around 12.79 billion years towards Earth. It took 16 hours of image stacking to confirm the result, it was thus the most distant object ever imaged by an amateur astronomer.
The success of beautiful images is due to ITelescope’s remote control of excellent equipment based in New Mexico, Spain and Australia. These telescopes are easy to control through the Internet, and I aim to share my enthusiasm of the heavens with you with interactive Telescope SkyTours.