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International Astronomical Union


Category of Astronomical Heritage: tangible immovable
Bothkamp Observatory, Germany

Format: IAU - Outstanding Astronomical Heritage Description

Description

Geographical position 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 146
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 2
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2018-08-23 15:00:34
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

Bothkamp Observatory in Lake Bothkamp, Gutshof Bothkamp near Kiel

 

 

Location 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 146
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 3
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2019-06-17 17:14:33
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

Lat. 54° 12′ 17″ N, long. 10° 08′ 03″ E, elevation 24m above mean sea level.

 

IAU observatory code 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 146
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 1
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2018-08-17 12:06:16
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

603

 

Description of (scientific/cultural/natural) heritage 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 146
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 4
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2019-06-17 15:15:57
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

Bothkamp Observatory was built in 1869 at the suggestion of Johann Karl Friedrich Zöllner (1834--1862), as a private observatory of Friedrich Gustav von Bülow (1817-1893). The observatory was an interesting rotunda in the middle of Lake Bothkamp, belonging to the castle Bothkamp.

Hermann Carl Vogel (1841-1907) served as director from 1870 to 1874. He was a pioneer in the visual spectroscopy of the sun and stars. Bothkamp Observatory became the cradle of astrophysics before the Astrophysical Observatory Potsdam was built and Hermann Carl Vogel (1841-1907) was called from Bothkamp to Potsdam as director.

The instrumental equipment was excellent. The observatory had a large 29-cm-refractor by Hugo Schröder, Hamburg, including guiding device. The instrument, purchased at the World’s Fair in Paris in 1867, was then the largest on the continent after the Pulkowa refractor. Other remarkable instruments of this observatory are dedicated to astrophysics - including a Zöllner photometer, a spectral apparatus, a five-prism ocular spectrometer (Schröder, Hamburg, 1871). Astronomical spectroscopic research in Germany began with this instrument. The shift of the lines in the star spectrum was measured micrometrically and compares to laboratory spectrum, a hydrogen-filled Geißler tube. Using a Zöllner Reversion Spectroscope, Vogel was able to detect the rotation of the sun due to the Doppler effect (1871).

 

History 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 146
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 3
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2019-06-17 13:32:37
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

The Bothkamp Observatory quickly became a leading research institution in astrophysics.

Director Hermann Carl Vogel (1841-1907), assistant Wilhelm Oswald Lohse (1845-1915).

From 1881 to 1883 Leo Anton Carl de Ball worked in Bothkamp. In 1882 he discovered from there the asteroids (230) Athamantis. After Bülow’s death in 1883, the astronomical activities in Bothkamp subsided. The observatory eventually was closed down in 1914.

 

 

State of preservation 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 146
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 4
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2019-06-17 15:16:20
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

The building was demolished in the 1930s. The site is destroyed, some building foundations can be recognized in the lake. The instruments were mostly saved and are now in Kiel and in the Deutsches Museum in Munich.

 

References

Bibliography (books and published articles) 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 146
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 6
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2019-06-17 15:43:11
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

  • Lohse, Oswald: Die Sternwarte eines Privatmannes. In: Die Gartenlaube (1871), Heft 47, p. 788-791.
  • Lühning, Felix: Sternwarte nach Gutsherrenart. In: Wolfschmidt, Gudrun (Hg.): Astronomisches Mäzenatentum. Norderstedt: Books on Demand (Nuncius Hamburgensis, Beiträge zur Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften, Bd.~11) 2008, p. 63-82.
  • Möller, Johannes: Die Bothkamper Sternwarte. In: Die Himmelswelt 48 (1938), p. 55-58.
  • Vogel, Hermann Carl: Beschreibung der Sternwarte zu Bothkamp. In: Astronomische Nachrichten 77 (1871), Nr.~1843, p. 289-298.
  • Vogel, Hermann Carl: Vorwort.  Beobachtungen angestellt auf der Sternwarte des Kammerherrn von Bülow zu Bothkamp. In: Bothkamper Beobachtungen, Heft I, Leipzig 1872.
  • Wolfschmidt, Gudrun: Die Anwendung des Dopplereffekts in der Astronomie unter Berücksichtigung der Pionierleistung von H.C.  Vogel. In: NTM -- Schriftenreihe für Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften, Technik und Medizin 28, Leipzig (1991/92), p. 173-209.
  • Wolfschmidt, Gudrun: Genese der Astrophysik. Habilitationsschrift, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, 1997.
  • Wolfschmidt, Gudrun (Hg.): 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.

 

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