The Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) explores the largest scales, examining the origin, components and fate of the universe as a whole. Our home galaxy, the Milky Way, with our solar system, billions of other stars and exoplanets, black holes, stellar births and explosions, serves as a witness of the epic evolution that started with the Big Bang.

The AIP is the successor to one of the oldest observatories in Germany – the Berlin Observatory founded in 1700 – and also the successor to the first institution worldwide devoted explicitly to the field of astrophysics, the Astrophysical Observatory Potsdam established in 1874. Nowadays the institute also develops research technologies for modern large telescopes.

From its main location on the Babelsberg campus, the AIP operates the solar observatory Einstein Tower and the historic Great Refractor on the Telegrafenberg, a radio telescope station in Potsdam-Bornim, as well as the fully robotic telescopes on Tenerife. To investigate our cosmic home, we look out into space with the worlds largest telescopes in Arizona and Chile, as well as with space telescopes.

The Babelsberg campus of the AIP on a sunny day. The Schwarzschildhaus is on the left, the dome of the Humboldthaus is visible in the middle background and the Leibnizhaus is on the right.

The research campus Babelsberg.

Credit: AIP

The domes of Einstein Tower and Great Refractor on Telegrafenberg.


Teide Observatory with STELLA and GREGOR.

Credit: AIP/M. Weber
Last update: 2. February 2021