Astronomical Calculation Institute (Heidelberg University)

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The Astronomisches Rechen-Institut

The Astronomisches Rechen-Institut ("Astronomical Calculation Institute"), or ARI, is a research institute in Heidelberg, Germany. The ARI is currently part of the Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg ("Center of Astronomy of the University of Heidelberg)". Formerly, the ARI belonged to the state of Baden-Württemberg.

The ARI has a rich history.[1] It was founded in 1700 in Berlin-Dahlem by Gottfried Kirch. It had its origin in a patent application by Frederick I of Prussia, who introduced a monopoly on publishing star catalogs in Prussia. In 1945 the Institute was moved by the Americans nearer to their headquarters in Heidelberg. Since January 1, 2005 the ARI has been integrated into the Zentrum für Astronomie (ZAH). The other two institutes in the ZAH are the Institut für Theoretische Astrophysik (Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, ITA) and the Landessternwarte Heidelberg-Königstuhl (Heidelberg-Königstuhl State Observatory, LSW).

The ARI has been responsible among other things for the Gliese catalog of nearby stars, the fundamental catalogs FK5 and FK6, and the annually-published "Apparent Places of Fundamental Stars" (APFS),[2] stellar ephemerides that provide high-precision mean and apparent positions of over three thousand stars for each day.

Today, the ARI is not limited to publishing star catalogs but has a wide research scope, including gravitational lensing, galaxy evolution, stellar dynamics, and cosmology. The ARI is also involved in space astronomy missions including GAIA.

The current co-directors of the ARI are Eva K. Grebel and Joachim Wambsganß.

Past Directors[edit]

Following is a list of past directors of the ARI.

Time Director
1700–1710 Gottfried Kirch
1710–1716 Johann Heinrich Hoffmann
1716–1740 Christfried Kirch
1740–1745 Johann Wilhelm Wagner
1745–1749 Augustin Nathanael Grischow
1752-1752 Joseph Jerome Le Francais de Lalande
1754–1755 Johann Kies
1755-1755 Franz Ulrich Theodosius Aepinus
1756-1756 Johann Jakob Huber
1758-1758 Johann Albert Euler
1764–1787 Johann Bernoulli III
1787–1825 Johann Elert Bode
1825–1863 Johann Franz Encke
1865–1874 Wilhelm Foerster
1874–1895 Friedrich Tietjen
1896–1909 Julius Bauschinger
1909–1922 Fritz Cohn
1924–1954 August Kopff
1955–1985 Walter Fricke
1985–2004 Roland Wielen
2004–2007 Joachim Wambsganß


  1. ^ "ARI History (- 1968) (German)". ARI. 2014-12-29. Retrieved 2014-12-29. 
  2. ^ Apparent Places of Fundamental Stars

See also[edit]

External links[edit]