In collaboration with the
International Astronomical Union


Category of Astronomical Heritage: tangible immovable
Uppsala Astronomical Observatory, Sweden

Format: IAU - Outstanding Astronomical Heritage Description

Description

Geographical position 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
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Uppsala Astronomical Observatory (UAO); (Astronomiska observatoriet i Uppsala), Uppsala, Uppland, Sweden

 

Location 
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Latitude 59°51’35.5’’, Longitude N 17°38’13.1’’ E, Elevation 40m above mean sea level.

 

IAU observatory code 
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549

 

Description of (scientific/cultural/natural) heritage 
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Uppsala University, founded in 1477, the oldest Nordic university, held a chair in astronomy since 1593, and the university archives contain even lecture notes on astronomy dating back to the 1480s.

Anders Celsius’s house with his observatory

Fig. 1a. Anders Celsius’s house with his observatory on the roof (engraving by J.B. Busser, 1769)


Anders Celsius, painting by Olof Arenius (1701--17

Fig. 1b. Anders Celsius, painting by Olof Arenius (1701--1766) (Wikipedia)



In the 18th century, Anders Celsius (1701--1744), professor since 1730, performed his research in Uppsala and built his astronomical observatory on the roof of his private house Celsiushuset, Svartbäcksgatan 7-11, in 1741 -- it was the oldest in Sweden. In 1736, Celsius took part in an expedition in order to measure the shape of the Earth. In Uppsala he measured the brightness of stars. In addition he discovered that auroras disrupt the Earth’s magnetic field.
Already in 1742, Celsius defined the temperature scale named after him, degrees Celsius. In contrast to the Celsius scale used today, he set the boiling point of water at 0° and the freezing point at 100°. Carl von Linné (1707--1778) exchanged the fixed points of the scale -- in this form we use it nowadays.
The Celsius house itself still remains as one of few older buildings on a modern shopping street, but the observatory on the roof was demolished in 1857. 



Uppsala Astronomical Observatory (UAO), 1853 (phot

Fig. 2. Uppsala Astronomical Observatory (UAO), 1853 (photo: Göran Henriksson)



The new Uppsala Astronomical Observatory (UAO) -- now known as the "old observatory" -- was built in 1844--1852 under Gustaf Svanberg (1802--1882), inaugurated in 1853. Since 1864, a Meteorological Observatory was added with continous observatoions until today. Svanberg was also active in geomagnetical measurements, inspired by Gauß and Weber’s Magnetic Association of Göttingen.

Anders Ångström (1814--1874) (Wikipedia)

Fig. 3. Anders Ångström (1814--1874) (Wikipedia)



Anders Ångström (1814--1874), Professor since 1858, studied of the solar spectrum. In 1862, he provided evidence of hydrogen spectral lines in this context. He also determined the presence of other elements in the solar spectrum and published an atlas with spectral lines of the Sun in 1868 (Recherche sur les specters solaires, Uppsala). The unit of wavelength "Ångström" was named after him.

Leading astronomers of Uppsala Astronomical Observatory are: Carl Charlier, Bertil Lindblad, Knut Lundmark and Yngve Öhman, Hugo von Zeipel, Gunnar Malmquist, Erik Holmberg, and Bengt Westerlund.
 
Due to the light pollution of Uppsala, the Uppsala Astronomical Observatory (UAO) got a branch observatory, 50 km south of Uppsala, the Kvistaberg Observatory (1957). This was donated by Nils Tamm in 1944.
 
The "old" Uppsala Astronomical Observatory is used by the Uppsala Amateur Astronomers (UAA) since 2000.

 

History 
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Nils Kristofer Dunér (1839--1914) with 36/33-cm-D

Fig. 4a. Nils Kristofer Dunér (1839--1914) with 36/33-cm-Double Refractor, Steinheil of Munich, Repsold of Hamburg, 1893 (www.astro.uu.se)


36/33-cm-Double Refractor with Dunér-spectrograph

Fig. 4b. 36/33-cm-Double Refractor with Dunér-spectrograph, Steinheil of Munich, Repsold of Hamburg, 1893 (www.astro.uu.se)



Instruments



  • 24.4-cm-Refractor (9inch, f = 4.4m), Steinheil & Söhne of Munich, 1860,
    used for Schultz’s observations of 560 nebulae and star clusters, mainly during the years 1863--1873, printed in the NGC catalogue (New General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars), 1888 -- in the main dome until 1892

  • Double Refractor (visual 36cm and photographic 33cm, f/15),  Steinheil of Munich, mounting by Repsold of Hamburg, 1892, first light 1893, used until the 1960’s

  • Triple Astrograph (16, 15, 15cm, vis., ph.gr. in blue and vis., focal length 150cm, field of view 6°), acquired in 1914 by Östen Bergstrand for a solar eclipse, Zeiss of Jena, mounting by Heyde of Dresden, 1914


Zeiss Triple Astrograph, 1914 (www.astro.uu.se)

Fig. 5a. Zeiss Triple Astrograph, 1914 (www.astro.uu.se)


Zeiss Triple Astrograph, 1914 (www.astro.uu.se)

Fig. 5b. Zeiss Triple Astrograph, 1914 (www.astro.uu.se)



Instruments of Kvistaberg Observatory (1957),
50 km south of Uppsala



  • 13-cm-Tamm’s Refractor, Zeiss of Jena, 1918 - guiding telescope
  • 20-cm-Zeiss Astrograph (triplet, f = 100cm, 7°), 1922, on Tamm’s mounting
  • 38/31/73-cm-Schmidt-Väisälä Camera, 1941,
    mounted with 20-cm-Zeiss Astrograph, 1922, and 13-cm-Tamm’s Refractor

    31-cm-Schmidt-Väisälä Camera (1941), Zeiss Astr

    Fig. 6. 31-cm-Schmidt-Väisälä Camera (1941), Zeiss Astrograph (1922) and 13-cm-Tamm’s Zeiss Refractor (1918) (www.astro.uu.se)



  • 40-cm-Cassegrain Reflector, used with a photoelectrical photometer, 1950

  • 135/100/300-cm-Schmidt Telescope -- 1951--1963, inauguration in 1964,
    the spherical 135-cm-mirror of borosilicate glass was produced by Pilkington Brothers, England, 1950,
    100-cm-corrector plate was made by Prof. Yrjö Väisälä, Turku, 1957,
    7° -- 80-cm-objective lens prism, Zeiss of Jena, 1965,
    objective grating, constructed by the Uppsala Observatory engineer, Berndt Malm, used in combination with the objective prism,
    used with the 24.4-cm-Refractor lens and with a 20/380cm as guiding telescopes,
    a three-channel UBV photoelectric photometer can be used in the Cassegrain focus since 1985,
    a CCD camera, installed in the primary focus since 1999.


1-m-Schmidt Telescope (1951--1963) (www.astro.uu.s

Fig. 7. 1-m-Schmidt Telescope (1951--1963) (www.astro.uu.se)



Professors of Astronomy



  • 1593 to 1600, Laurentius Paulinus Gothus (1565--1646)
  • 1600 to 1605, Johannes Olai Anthelius (1570’s--1646)     
  • 1605 to 1608,1611-1644, Martinus Olai Stenius (1574--1644)         
  • 1609 to 1610, Sigfrid Aron Forsius (1550’s--1624)             
  • 1644 to 1648, Olaus Martini Stenius (1607--1660)         
  • 1648 to 1657, Martinus Olai Nycopensis (1596--1657)      
  • 1657 to 1664, Johannes Jacobi Bureus (?--1672)           
  • 1664 to 1679, Johannes Laurentius Fornelius (1635--1679)
  • 1679 to 1699, Anders Spole (1630--1699)                    
  • 1699 to 1718, Per Elvius (1660--1718)                     
  • 1718 to 1724, Nils Celsius (1658--1724)                  
  • 1724 to 1729, Erik Burman (1692--1729)                   
  • 1730 to 1744, Anders Celsius (1701--1744)            
  • 1745 to 1761, Mårten Strömer (1707--1770)                
  • 1761 to 1796, Daniel Melanderhjelm (1726--1810)           
  • 1797 to 1798, Erik Prosperin (1739--1803)                 
  • 1799 to 1810, Lars Regnér (1746--1810)                    
  • 1811 to 1841, Johan Bredman (1770--1859)                 
  • 1842 to 1878, Gustaf Svanberg (1802--1882)               
  • 1878 to 1888, Herman Schultz (1823--1890)                 
  • 1888 to 1909, Nils Dunér (1839--1914)                      
  • 1909 to 1938, Östen Bergstrand (1873--1948)               
  • 1939 to 1959, Gunnar Malmquist (1893--1982)               
  • 1959 to 1975, Erik Holmberg (1908--2000)                  
  • 1975 to 1987, Bengt Westerlund (1921--2008)               
  • 1987 to ----, Bengt Gustafsson (*1943)                    

 

State of preservation 
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Uppsala Astronomical Observatory, 1844 (www.astro.

Fig. 8. Uppsala Astronomical Observatory, 1844 (www.astro.uu.se)



The "old" Uppsala Observatory is well preserved. 

 

Comparison with related/similar sites 
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It is a one-dome-observatory like several observatories in the beginning of the 19th century.

 

Threats or potential threats 
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no threats

 

Present use 
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The "old" Uppsala Observatory is used by Uppsala Amateur Astronomers (UAA) since 2000.
Since 2009, the domes and telescopes of the Kvistaberg Observatory are part of a museum.

 

Astronomical relevance today 
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The (old) Uppsala Astronomical Observatory (UAO) is used by Uppsala Amateur Astronomers (UAA) since 2000.

<i>Ångström Laboratory</i>, since 20

Fig. 9. Ångström Laboratory, since 2000 (photo: Goeran Henriksson)



In 2000 the (old) Uppsala Astronomical Observatory (UAO) merged with the Institute of Space Physics to form the Department of Astronomy and Space Physics and moved to the Ångström Laboratory. In 2008, another merger resulted in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Astronomy and Space Physics becoming one of its divisions.
Address: Regementsvägen 1, SE-752 37 Uppsala.


Kvistaberg Observatory, 1919 (Wikipedia)

Fig. 10a. Kvistaberg Observatory, 1919 (Wikipedia)


Nils Tamm (1876--1957) in Kvistaberg Observatory (

Fig. 10b. Nils Tamm (1876--1957) in Kvistaberg Observatory (www.astro.uu.se)


Kvistaberg Observatory (Wikipedia CC4, Annika Pete

Fig. 10c. Kvistaberg Observatory (Wikipedia CC4, Annika Peterson)



In addition to the facilities in Uppsala, the observatory operates the

  • Kvistaberg Observatory, Bro, Sweden (1957--2009),
    Observatory code    049 -- 59°30’06’’ N 17°36’24’’ E.
    Kvistaberg Observatory was a donation in 1944 from Nils Tamm (1876--1957), an active amateur astronomer, having studied astronomy under Nils Christoffer Dunér and Östen Bergstrand in Uppsala.
    The professors Åke Wallenquist and Gunnar Malmquist set up the new observatory (1957) and organized a large 1-m-Schmidt telescope in 1963. The directors after Wallenquist, 1948 to 1970, were Tarmo Oja, 1970 to 1999, Claes-Ingvar Lagerkvist, 1999 to 2007, Bengt Edvardsson, 2008 to 2009. Hundreds of minor planets had been discovered with the Schmidt telescope between 1975 and 2005, e.g. asteroid 3331 Kvistaberg.



  • Uppsala Southern Station at the Siding Spring Observatory (SSO) in Australia,
    Observatory code    413, 31°16’24’’ S, 149°03’52’’ E, Altitude 1156m (Mount Woorut)
    Uppsala Southern Schmidt Telescope (1956) with 0.6m correcting plate, 1957 until 1982 in Mount Stromlo Observatory, 1982 until 2013 Siding Spring Observatory, 31°16’24’’ S, 149°03’52’’ E, Altitude 1150m.

 

References

Bibliography (books and published articles) 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
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  • Anders Jonas Ångström. In: Hofberg, Herman; Heurlin, Frithiof;  Millqvist, Viktor & Olof Rubenson (ed.): Svenskt biografiskt handlexikon, Band 2: L-Z, samt Supplement. Stockholm: Albert Bonniers Verlag (2. Auflage) 1906, p. 777.

  • Beckman, Olof: Anders Celsius. Uppsala: Universität Uppsala 2003.

  • Holmberg, Gustav: Astronomy in Sweden 1860--1940. In: Uppsala Newsletter: History of Science, Nr. 26 (1997).

  • Kant, Horst: Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit, René-Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur, Anders Celsius. Leipzig: Teubner Verlag 1984.

  • Wolfschmidt, Gudrun (ed.): Astronomie im Ostseeraum -- Astronomy in the Baltic. Proceedings der Tagung des Arbeitskreises Astronomiegeschichte in der Astronomischen Gesellschaft in Kiel 2015. Hamburg: tredition (Nuncius Hamburgensis -- Beiträge zur Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften; Band 38) 2018.

 

Links to external sites 
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Links to external on-line pictures 
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no information available

 

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