Babelsberg Observatory - Potsdam, Germany
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Bernd das Brot Team
N 52° 24.300 E 013° 06.250
33U E 371033 N 5807775
Quick Description: A retired astronomical observatory
Location: Brandenburg, Germany
Date Posted: 2/18/2019 6:18:29 PM
Waymark Code: WM103FX
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member snaik
Views: 3

Long Description:

In 1906, the Berlin Observatory, which had been operational since 1711 (and discovered, among other things the planet Neptune) could no longer operate, as fine dust and light pollution in the growing German capital interfered with observations.

Construction of a new observatory in (then) remote Babelsberg started in 1911 and the new site became operational in 1913.

In 1915, a 65 cm refractor — the first big astronomical instrument manufactured by the famous enterprise of Carl Zeiss Jena — was mounted. After World War I, in 1924, a 122 cm reflector telescope was installed, making Babelsberg the best-equipped observatory of Europe.

After World War II, the 122 cm reflector was dismantled as reparation to the Soviet Union. It was moved to the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory, where it is still operational today.

Observations in Babelsberg resumed in 1950 and at the end of its active observations, the observatory had the second largest archive of astronomical photographic plates as a result of over 60 years of photographic sky survey.

Humboldt House

Meridian House

In 1992, the observatory became part of the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics. It does no longer carry out active observations, but instead, now hosts the institute's main office, including a vast library (with original star charts drawn by Johannes Kepler) and a mainframe computer processing data from several observatories and satellites.

The observatory is open for guided tours. The picture left shows the 65 cm refractor. It was taken from a News Article, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the observatory.

Observatory Purpose: Research

Optical / Infrared Telescopes?: Yes

Radio Telescopes?: No

Solar Telescopes?: No

Open to the Public?: Yes

Is this a Club Observatory?: No

Public Viewing Allowed?: Yes

Active Observatory?: Retired

Number of Telescopes or Antennas: 3 to 5

Site URL: [Web Link]

Year Dedicated or Opened: 1913

Altitude (meters): 34

Visit Instructions:
Note the time of day of your visit, and your own photo of your favorite part of the observatory. This might be the view from the observatory, picture of your favorite building or favorite exhibit. (Be mindful of flash photography rules!)

If you participated in an observing session, let everyone know what you saw!

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