200 Years of Science: Renovated Tartu Old Observatory Has Opened Doors
On Wednesday, April 27th, Tartu Old Observatory celebrated its 200th anniversary and opened doors as a modern museum to visitors of all ages.
From April 28th the museum will be open for all visitors from Tuesday to Sunday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Reet Mägi, the project manager of Tartu Old Observatory is glad that all the preparations are done and the museum can be festively opened to all visitors. „The observatory has been one of the most advanced astronomical research facilities in the world and now, through the museum, it will again be an inspiration and source of knowledge to guests of all age groups,“ Reet Mägi explained the importance of the Old Observatory.
According to Kristjan Haller, the vice rector for research of the University of Tartu, Tartu Old Observatory is a prominent object in the history of science, probably the most prominent amongst Estonian historical monuments. „The importance of Tartu Old Observatory is not merely limited by the accomplishments in the fields of astronomy and geodesy, it must be seen as part of the university, as part of the ever searching spirited, academically minded environment it lies in. This environment has supported world-class achievements in astronomy and geodesy and vice versa. It is not too much to say that the Old Observatory is the birthplace of physics- and biotechnology in Estonia,“ said Haller.
Restoration of the Old Observatory started in 2009 with support from the Regional Competitiveness Improvement Programme of the Enterprise Estonia Foundation.
The Old Observatory of the University of Tartu is without doubt one of the crown jewels in the history of Estonia’s science. In 1824, the observatory acquired a Fraunhofer refractor, which at the time was the best and the largest dioptric telescope in the world. Research conducted at the Old Observatory has led to many discoveries that have changed our understanding of the Earth and the universe. The observatory’s place in the world’s history of science was cemented by its long-time head Friedrich Georg Wilhelm Struve, who in 1835 was the first to measure the distance of a star from the Earth and who determined the position of thousands of double stars. As the first point in the Struve Geodetic Arc, the Old Observatory was included in the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2005.
Additional information: Reet Mägi, project manager of Tartu Old Observatory, +372 7376 073, +372 504 0826, reet.magi [ät] ut.ee
University of Tartu Press Officer
tel +372 737 5683
mob +372 515 0184
anneli.miljan [ät] ut.ee