100 years Observatory Babelsberg

2 August 2013. At the beginning of August 1913 the Berlin Observatory - ancestor of the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) - moved to Potsdam-Babelsberg. 100 years later the AIP celebrates this anniversary.
100 years Observatory Babelsberg

Observatory Babelsberg (Credit: AIP)

On Saturday, August 10th, the AIP invites everyone to join the summer celebration in front of the historic observatory building. From 1 to 5 pm guided tours through the observatory, children activities, live music and a barbeque will make it a great day.


Moving to Babelsberg

The relocation of the Berlin Observatory in 1913 became necessary as Berlin nights turned continuously brighter - making scientific observation almost impossible. To realize this project became one of the great achievements of Karl Hermann Struve, director of the observatory since 1904. A new site was found on a hill in the eastern part of the Royal Park in Babelsberg. The crown placed the ground at the observatory's disposal free of charge. Today it is part of UNESCO’s World Heritage Site.

The new observatory building in Babelsberg was the firt finished. The first new instruments were delivered in the spring of 1914. The 65cm refractor, which was the first big astronomical instrument manufactured by the famous Carl Zeiss Jena company, was mounted in 1915. As a result of the First World War, the completion of the 122cm mirror telescope was delayed until 1924.

For more information about the history of the AIP, please click here.


Media Contact: Kerstin Mork, +49 331-7499 469, presse@aip.de

The key areas of research at the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) are cosmic magnetic fields and extragalactic astrophysics. A considerable part of the institute's efforts aim at the development of research technology in the fields of spectroscopy, robotic telescopes, and e-science. The AIP is the successor of the Berlin Observatory founded in 1700 and of the Astrophysical Observatory of Potsdam founded in 1874. The latter was the world's first observatory to emphasize explicitly the research area of astrophysics. The AIP has been a member of the Leibniz Association since 1992.