Institute

Welcome to the AIfA! The Argelander-Institut für Astronomie (AIfA) is an academic, research and educational institute that is part of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Bonn, Germany. We conduct cutting-edge research over a broad range of theoretical and observational topics from stars to cosmology, as you can see from our Research page (link). Many national and international collaborations have partners in the AIfA, for example we have a close relationship with our neighbour, the Max-Planck Institut fuer Radioastronomie (MPIfR). We have access to the 100m Effelsberg radio telescope in the Eifel and our roof-mounted 50cm Cassegrain reflector telescope.

The institute numbers about 130 of which half are research scientists and the rest PhD and Masters students. Our members come from 25 countries leading to a truly international working environment. Through the Bonn-Cologne graduate school we attract students from all over the world, many of whom go on to succeed as international scientists. We strongly support equal opportunity and our institute is child-friendly for whom we provide a playroom -- we are among the first to do so at our university. We help our members with allocation of Kindergarten places for their children under three years of age.

The AIfA was formed in 2006 by uniting three smaller institutes: the Institute of Radioastronomy, the Institute of Astrophysics and Extraterrestrial Research, and the Sternwarte with Observatory Hoher List. From an initially strong observational astronomy base, we have developed groups that are also highly competitive in theoretical astrophysics The institute is named after Bonn astronomer F.W.A. Argelander (1799-1875) who pioneered astrometric star catalogues. His Bonner Durchmusterung (BD) catalogue is the direct precursor of modern space-based surveys such as Hipparcos and the upcoming Gaia mission.

Please visit our Research pages if you'd like to know more about our scientific activities. If you are pondering your next step in astronomical studies, please have a look at Programs of Study.