We first became acquainted with Baader
Planetarium (pronounced "Bahder") a number of years ago, as a result of our own interest in Zeiss
astronomical equipment. Baader Planetarium products go way
beyond the Zeiss equipment they are so well known for. Baader Planetarium has
been innovating and producing a large array of equipment and astronomical
accessories for the European market for decades. In fact, Baader Planetarium was founded in Germany over 40 years ago, and
the Baader family has been involved in producing astronomical instruments for
years. For a more detailed summary of the history behind this company and it’s
founders, please see the
Planetarium Historical Reference.
Baader Planetarium products really do bring
a level of ingenuity, quality, and detail that is unique in this hobby. Though
it may sound cliché, the influence of German engineering and manufacturing is
immediately obvious when you are able to see and use this equipment. Everywhere
you look you will find small details that not only add to the fit-n-finish of
the parts, but increase the part function as well. We encourage you to look
over the product information we have put together, and these details will become
As you will find,
Baader Planetarium has carefully designed their products to all function closely
together to provide a true system that enables many unique visual, photographic,
and CCD applications. The result is the Baader Planetarium ASTRO T-2 System™.
Based on the T-2 thread standard (M42 x .75) this system also includes the necessary adapters to couple onto virtually all
major telescopes. In addition to their system of adapters, spacers, and
couplers, Baader Planetarium provides a number of unique optical components that
can expand the performance and usefulness of your telescope. Like
us, you will likely find that this equipment is so flexible and useful that you
will uncover potential uses or configurations beyond what you originally
As we tried many of these unique
accessories, we began to realize the need for access to these products here in
America. In order to acquire this equipment, we had to learn of their use (most
of the information was only in German) and deal with the headaches of importing
directly from Germany. Now, finally, Alpine Astronomical is able to offer a
wide range of Baader Planetarium products to amateurs and dealers in North America. Now you can
explore this wide range of products, with the convenience of local supply.
Alpine Astronomical is a fully authorized Baader Planetarium dealer, providing
expert and official support for their products. We invite you to tour the
extensive line of Baader Planetarium products featured on this website. Of
course, feel free to contact us by phone or
email for answers to any
History of Baader
Baader Planetarium is situated near Munich, Germany. The
company was founded in Munich in 1966 and has produced over 15000 school type
planetaria since then, as well as 350 observatory domes of all sizes. In
Germany, Baader Planetarium acts as importer for Astro Physics and SBIG
instruments and services Carl Zeiss Amateur Telescope Products by contract with
Carl Zeiss Jena.
The history of the name Baader in Astronomy, however, dates
back to the year 1852, when Michael Baader opened an Optical Manufacturing
Company in the middle of Munich, after having worked since 1838 in the optical
glass works company of "Martin Woerle" and being married with Woerle's daughter.
Woerle had gained deep knowledge in the production of optical glass and the
secrets of production and testing of achromatic lenses under direct supervision
of Josef von Fraunhofer, one of the founders of modern optics and inventor of
the "German Mount".
More than 600 Achromatic Refractors up to 5" aperture had
left the "Optische Fabrik M. Baader" in the time from 1852 to 1870. Baader
Telescopes won prizes for excellent optics and mechanical workmanship at a
number of International Industrial Fairs of that time from Berlin to Paris.
Seven telescopes of Michael Baader are still to be seen at the present company
as well as the prize awarding documents.
Claus Baader, the founder of the
modern company Baader Planetarium, had designed a sophisticated orrery in the
early sixties, which was patented in 1966. It was one of the first astronomical
instruments of German origin to be tested in the magazine "Sky and Telescope".
It was Owen Gingerich, then at the Smithsonian Institute, Harvard University,
.."Ingeniously engineered and constructed in Germany, this unit is without
doubt the most sophisticated tellurion ever made available on a mass-produced
basis .....The Baader instrument's most novel contribution and most
spectacular effect has been achieved by enclosing the tellurion within a
semiopaque plastic shell representing the celestial sphere. The motorized
solar machine is readily viewed through the near side of the plastic shell;
but the near and far sides combined appear virtually opaque, thus giving the
remarkable effect of a darkened hemispherical canopy of stars regardless of
the direction from which the mechanism is examined."
Throughout these 43 years, countless students in all the
world have had their first encounters in "heavenly mechanics" with the aid of
the "Baader Planetarium".
In 1995, after the passing of our founder, the "AG" (German
Society of Professional Astronomers) assigned Minor Planet 5658/1950DO the name
"clausbaader", in honoring his lifelong work and achievements for astronomical
Over the years, the fine mechanical skills required for the
elaborate gear systems in various sizes of Baader Planetarium Instruments (the
largest being 1,3 Meter in diameter, with all nine planets and moons in their
correct, geared orbits) have lead to producing a whole family of astronomical
accessories to increase the capabilities of many astronomical telescopes.
Besides this, another branch inside the company already had
produced huge numbers of projection domes for the Baader school type
planetarium, which, 25 years ago, eventually led to producing astronomical domes
Today, some of these domes serve as remote controlled
robotic observatories under world,s most adverse climactic conditions. One of
our domes is situated at 2965 Meter (~ 10000 feet) above sea level, right at the
very top of the "Zugspitze"- Germany's highest mountain. Another one serves at
Europe's highest observatory at 3700 Meter above sea level at the "Jungfraujoch"
in Switzerland, just beside the famous "Eiger-Northface". Both locations endure
wind loads of measured 300 km/h (185 miles/h).
Whatever your requirements are in this wide field of
Astronomy, we try hard to make your task a little easier and we give greatest
care to our products, to have them made - not as cheap, but as good and
affordable as ever possible.
You surely know about our patented "Baader AstroSolar
Safety Film" - it is a good example of what we are constantly trying to achieve.
Try us - and be thanked for your trust.
Baader Planetarium GmbH
last updated 06/16/09