The association

History of the Natural Science Association of Zweibrücken e.V.

The founding of the association is closely linked to the opening of the Zweibrücken site of Kaiserslautern University of Applied Sciences. In 1996, an astronomical event was fascinating: the comet "Hyakutake" (C1/1996 B2) appeared in the night sky. The following year, another comet, "Hale-Bopp" (C/1995 O1), appeared even brighter and clearer than Hyatuake. Both events were clearly visible from the grounds of the university on the Kreuzberg. For those involved, this seemed to be an ideal location for observing the sky at night. The idea of building an observatory on a mound of excavated earth soon developed.

In 1999, another magnificent natural phenomenon occurred: a total solar eclipse. In connection with a public evening lecture by Günther Knerr and Gernot Meiser from the Saarland Amateur Astronomers' Association in preparation for this natural event, interested citizens from Zweibrücken and the surrounding area were asked to support the ambitious "observatory" project. The university campus should also be a place where all interested citizens are invited to experience the adventure of science together with professors and students.

The founding meeting of the Natural Science Association took place on June 16, 1999 and Prof. Peter Pokrowsky was elected as the first chairman.

The nine founding members on 16.6.1999
with the club's first logo.

In addition to the construction of an observatory, other focal points were:

  • Organization of public scientific lectures
  • Excursions including visits to research facilities and industrial plants
  • Promoting astronomical education

The foundation stone for the observatory was laid on April 4, 2000. Thanks to the commitment of many, especially Thomas Sprau, Christian Esser, Klaus Portscheller, Friedrich-Wilhelm Strom and Hubert Zitt, as well as numerous donations from citizens, tradesmen and industrial companies in Zweibrücken and the surrounding area, it was able to begin trial operation in February 2002 and was officially inaugurated on October 25, 2002.

More details can be found in booklet 1 of the NAWI publication series "Der naturwissenschaftliche Verein zu Zweibrücken und seine Volkssternwarte"; author Peter Pokrowsky, who also became the first chairman of the association.