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Lindblad, Bertil (1895-1965)

Bertil Lindblad was a Swedish astronomer.

After finishing his secondary education at Örebro högre allmänna läroverk, Lindblad matriculated at Uppsala University in 1914. He received his filosofie magister degree in 1917, his filosofie licentiat degree in 1918 and completed his doctorate and became a docent at the university in 1920. From 1927 he was professor and astronomer of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and head of the Stockholm Observatory. He was responsible for the observatory's move from the old building in the centre of Stockholm to a newly built facility in Saltsjöbaden, outside Stockholm that was completed in 1931. The asteroid 36614 Saltis, discovered there in 2000, was named after a common nickname of the place.

Lindblad studied the theory of the rotation of galaxies. By making careful observations of the apparent motions of stars, he was able to study the rotation of the Milky Way Galaxy. He deduced that the rate of rotation of the stars in the outer part of the galaxy, where the Sun is located, decreased with distance from the galactic core. This deduction was soon confirmed by Jan Oort in 1927. A certain class of resonances in rotating stellar or gaseous disks are named after him as Lindblad resonances. He recived several awards, the Janssen Medal from the French Academy of Sciences (1938), the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (1948) and the Bruce Medal (1954). The crater Lindblad on the Moon and Asteroid 1448 Lindbladia was named after him.

The building of the Saltsjöbaden Observatory can be found on one side of a 45 mm diameter 42.7 gram weight bronze medal. The legend around is: "SOCIO · MERITISSIMO · REGIA · ACADEMIA · SCIENTIARUM · SUEC" and "MCMLXXV", i. e. hihgly deserving member of Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. There is also a text below the building "PER · MOTUS · ET · SPECTRA · SIDERUM AD · COGNITIONEM · CAELESTIUM RERUM", i. e. through the studying the motion and image of the stars we (get) acquainted with the matter of sky.

Saltsjöbaden 1 reverseSaltsjöbaden 1 obverse

On the other side the left facing portrait of Bertil Lindblad can be found. Above in the legend his name, below his birth and death years 1895 and 1965. The signature of the medalist, Leo Holmgren, can be found below the collar.