Stockholm and Saltsjöbaden

The Stockholm Observatory was founded in the 18th century and today part of Stockholm University. Its history is connected to two actual historical observatory complexes in the Stockholm area.

The first observatory was established by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on the initiative of its secretary Per Elvius. Construction begun in 1748 and the building was completed in 1753. It is situated on a hill in a park nowadays named Observatorielunden. The first head of the observatory was Pehr Wilhelm Wargentin. Later heads of the observatory include Hugo Gyldén and Bertil Lindblad. This 18th-century observatory today functions as a museum.

The Stockholm Observatory's building can be found on the reverse of a 31 mm diameter silver medal issued by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1939. Below the building the legend can be seen: "STELLÆ QUEMADMODUM · CERTA · LEGE ASTRICTÆ · VOLANTUR PERSPICAX · DESCRIPSIT". The meaning of the legend - "How he described the stars according to the act aiming completeness" - sure refers to Hugo Gyldén, whose half-right facing portrait is pictured on the obverse. The legend of the obverse "HUGO · GYLDÉN · ASTRONOMUS · REG · ACAD · SCIENT · SUEC ·" (Hugo Gyldén astronomer of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences), below: "NAT · MDCCCXXXXI OB · MDCCCXCVI" i. e. born in 1841, died in 1896.

Stockholm 1 reverseStockholm 1 obverse

A newer observatory was built in Saltsjöbaden outside Stockholm and completed in 1931 to avoid the lights of the expanding city. The asteroid 36614 Saltis, discovered there in 2000, was named after a common nickname of the place. The observatory was closed in 2001. More recent astronomical observations, are almost exclusively being done in observatories outside Sweden and closer to the equator.

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.