Historical Sky

Discovering astronomical photographic plates in the APPLAUSE plates archive

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/.

[Einstein Tower]
The latest addition to the APPLAUSE plate archive are more than 3500 photographic plates from the Solar Observatory Einstein Tower, Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam.