Astronomical archives still contain some slumbering treasures: numerous photographic plates with historical sky pictures are waiting to be rediscovered. In a large-scale digitization project, tens of thousands of plates were scanned and made available online in the APPLAUSE database.
This website offers a simplified search for the scanned astronomical photographic plates, which contain images of the starry sky as well as images of the Sun with its sunspots. Browse through the photographic plates of a specific archive or find out which photos were taken in January 1945 or on a 31st December. Maybe there are also even photographic plates that were taken on your birthday?
Detailed information and a direct search in the metadata is available via the APPLAUSE database at www.plate-archive.org/query/.
Select images of the sky or of the sun and optionally a certain archive, year or date to find a selection of photographic plates. Images are available between 1893 and 1998, but not in each archive. Alternatively you can also search for plates with specific objects, if you click on Object Search above.
Click on one of the example objects below. This immediately starts a search for photographic plates with the corresponding object. If you want to search for a different object, click custom object search to display the (experimental) custom object search.
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