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Open Astronomy

formerly Baltic Astronomy

Editor-in-Chief: Barbuy, Beatriz


IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 0.350

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ICV 2017: 121.03

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2543-6376
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Volume 20, Issue 2

Issues

Anders Celsius’ Contributions to Meridian Arc Measurements and the Establishment of an Astronomical Observatory in Uppsala

H. C. Stempels
Published Online: 2017-03-23 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/astro-2017-0281

Abstract

Astronomy has been on the curriculum of Uppsala University from at least the middle of the 15th century. However, since Uppsala also was the ecclesiastical centre of Sweden, the acceptance of new ideas, such as the Copernican heliocentric system, was slow. At the same time, more peripheral universities in the Swedish empire, including Dorpat/Tartu, enjoyed a larger freedom. It was not until the early 18th century that a ‘modern’ astronomy emerged in Uppsala. This effort was to a large extent led by Anders Celsius (1701-1744), who was able to establish good international contacts with astronomers in continental Europe. Celsius participated in De Maupertuis’ expedition to the far north of Sweden, in order to measure the meridian arc and determine the shape of the Earth. This paper explores how Celsius became involved in De Maupertuis’ expedition, and how this effort paved the way to the establishment of a fully equipped astronomical observatory, including an extensive collection of books and instruments, most of which survives up to this day.

Keywords: history of astronomy

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About the article

Received: 2011-06-22

Accepted: 2011-08-10

Published Online: 2017-03-23

Published in Print: 2011-06-01


Citation Information: Open Astronomy, Volume 20, Issue 2, Pages 179–185, ISSN (Online) 2543-6376, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/astro-2017-0281.

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© 2017. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

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