An American-German scientist delegation stays in Ober- and Niedercunnersdorf (Oberlausitz, Saxony, Germany) from August 2nd until August 4th 2002. The three arrived comet experts are taking part in the construction of the probe “Deep Impact”, which shall set out to a comet - discovered by the in Niedercunnersdorf born Wilhelm Tempel (1821-1889) - in 2004. Prof. Dr. Lucy-Ann Mc Fadden (University of Maryland), Prof. Dr. Michael A’Hearn (University of Maryland) with his wife Maxine (biologist) and Dr. Jochen Kissel (Max-Planck-Institute for extra-terristic physics in Garching) informed themselves about W. Tempel, enthusiasticly became acquainted with his birthplace and reported about their thought through plan of reconnoitring the comet Temple 1 from close up.
Here the research scientists took part in a program, which for sure hasn’t been less strenuous then the preceded scientific conference ACM2002 (Asteroids Comets Meteors 2002, about small bodies in the sun system) from July 29th until August 2nd in Berlin.
The fist ZDF-interviews have been taken place already Friday evening in Obercunnersdorf. A put up telescope and the Kottmar, on which slopes the Spree is rising, offered a romantic scenery when dusk began to fall. During the following very clear night the far traveled astronomers enjoyed the dark countryside-like sky, because in their native cities (Washington D.C. and Heidelberg) they haven’t seen the milky way for a long time now and water man and dolphin are missing as well.
But in Obercunnersdorf the large and the small dipper - in such a way the large and small bear are called in the USA - stood brilliantly against a velvet-black sky in the binoculars and telescope showing some remarkable celestial objects. This interesting sky walk had to find an end after midnight, because Saturday morning a public popular-scientific meeting took place at the Wilhelm Tempel elementary school in Niedercunnersdorf.
After the cordial welcome of the honourable guests by mayor and headmistress Lutz Clausnitzer reported about William Temples life and his discoverisequently, Prof. Dr. A’Hearn and Dr. Kissel described how the Deep Impact project shall function and which white marks in the area of the comet astronomy one intends to dye with it. During the break and after the lectures a Wilhelm Tempel exhibition invited to having a look and conversation.
Peter Domschkes "virtual worlds" could be even acquired purchasable. After this with large interest of about 70 participants established meeting mayor Hübler led the astronomers to the William Temple place of the village, where the guests posed for some photos in front of a stone, dedicated to their colleague from the 19th century.
After lunch at the Clausnitzer residence - Mrs. Clausnitzer served rolled salmon in scholle - the Model farm, where Temple was born 1821, the windmill in Kottmarsdorf and the idyllic Obercunnersdorf were visited. With Barbecue, interesting discussions and a view to the again clear starlit sky a meeting equally remarkable and experience-rich for guests and hosts in a beautiful landscape went to the end.
On August 6th the scientists mailed from home: „Thank you so much for your hospitality and for planning such a wonderful visit for us in Obercunnersdorf and Niedercunnersdorf. I still feel exciting about making the trip and I'm telling everyone about it. We visited such interesting places and met so many very nice people.”
Already on August 7th Mrs. Dr. Lucy-Ann McFadden, a specialtist for spectroscopy, reported at the NASA headquarters in Washington D.C. not only about the ACM2002, but about their unforgettable visit in the Oberlausitz. We thank the prominent guests for the shown honour. Their visit was a special dignity of Wilhelm Tempel and his successful working for the astronomy.
The German television station “ZDF” (“Das Zweite Deutsche Fernsehen”) dedicated in its evening news a good three-minute report to the event of Niedercunnersdorf.
© by Lutz Clausnitzer
translated by Carolin Clausnitzer