About the author

Rolf Hempel

Rolf Hempel specialised in the study of mathematics at the University of Bonn, at first on the numerical solution of simulation problems. At the beginning of his career in 1985, he was involved with the Society for Mathematics and Data Processing (Gesellschaft für Mathematik und Datenverarbeitung; GMD) but then increasingly with the development of common programming techniques for the newly emerging parallel computing.

For this purpose, he started, together with three colleagues, the international 'Message-Passing Interface' initiative. The resulting MPI programming model is still the dominant standard in high performance computing. After five years of working for the Japanese electronics company NEC, where he participated in the construction of a European research centre for 'high performance computing', in 2001 he was appointed head of the DLR Simulation and Software Technology Facility at the German Aerospace Center.

In his spare time, Rolf Hempel has been a passionate amateur astronomer for over 40 years. Earlier, he worked as a minor planet hunter (IAU observatory code 519), but today he is primarily interested in visual and photographic lunar observation.

Posts from Rolf Hempel

Space | 26. March 2015 | 1 Comment

SoFi 2015 - Geht das auch schärfer?

Am 20. März 2015 war die Erwartung groß: In einem schmalen Streifen über dem Nordatlantik sollte der Mond die Sonne total verfinstern. In Deutschland würden wir eine partielle Finsternis erleben können. So musste nur noch das Wetter mitspielen, und daran haperte es leider in weiten Teilen Westdeutschlands. Daher beschloss ich kurzfristig, mein Glück im Hochsauerland zu suchen. Auf der Fahrt nach Winterberg klarte kurz hinter Grafschaft der Himmel plötzlich auf. An einer Feldeinfahrt in 500 Metern Höhe fand ich den nahezu idealen Beobachtungsplatz. read more

Space | 06. March 2015 | 1 Comment

Enge Begegnung von Venus und Uranus am Abendhimmel

Am Abend des 4. März fand die in diesem Jahr engste Begegnung zweier Planeten statt: Von der Erde aus betrachtet zog die Venus sehr dicht am Uranus vorbei. read more

Space | 08. March 2012

Looking for tracks on the Moon

As a lunar observer, I am repeatedly asked whether the tracks of the six Apollo missions can be seen through a telescope. After all, the descent stages of the lunar modules, three lunar rovers and a lot of scientific equipment were left behind there. Unfortunately, this is impossible even with the largest ground-based telescopes. But on the Internet, it is possible for everyone to go out and explore. read more

Space | 28. April 2011 | 3 Comments

Is the Moon unchanging?

Ever since the discovery of the telescope, man has been fascinated by the observation of the surface of the Moon. The constantly changing light coming from the Sun causes craters, mountains, valleys and plains to take on continuously varying appearances. Yet, as we look at this atmosphereless natural satellite, we get the impression that the Moon has not changed, even over the span of a human lifetime. But is this really the case? read more

Space | 25. March 2011 | 4 Comments

Biggest full Moon in over 18 years

On 19 March 2011 everything came together perfectly – in a completely clear sky there was a full Moon and, what is more, at almost the exact time, the Moon passed through the point of closest approach to Earth on its elliptical orbit. This meant we were able to admire an unusually large and bright full Moon. Not wanting to let this opportunity pass, I photographed the Moon through my telescope. read more

Space | 26. August 2010 | 4 Comments

Walking on the Moon – by telescope

We have all seen the images of the first manned Moon landing in 1969 often enough on the TV and remember the pictures of the lunar surface taken from orbit or from the landing site itself. But how much of all this can be seen with a telescope? And just where is the landing site? Here is a travel guide with a very special destination. read more