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Observatories that I have visited:
Uppsala old observatory, Sweden


  1. Double refractor
  2. Triple refractor
  3. Other side observatories
  4. Astronomy park
  5. To be continued

2: Triple refractor

It's not only this observatory building here. The main observatory is placed in a park with a lot of other buildings, one of them house the Triple Refractor.

Uppsala old Observatory was one of the old observatories from the article "Sweden's old observatories" that I translated not long ago: Sweden's old observatories.

Triple refractor:

Uppsala old observatory, Sweden

One hundred meters South from the main building we found this observatory. It doesn't look much interesting from the outside.

But indoors it's like heaven for astronomers who like old classic telescopes.

Uppsala old observatory, triple refractor, Sweden Photographer: Christoffer Svenske

Christoffer sent me some photos of the triple refractor from this observatory. A triple refractor, or say astrograph because that what it was used for. It must have been the top of the instrument at that time. What's even more interesting, it's this telescope that was used for the solar eclipse in Northern Sweden 1914. They transported this heavy instrument 100 km North in Sweden to observe the solar eclipse, a solar eclipse last for about 2 minutes ! You can read about it here: Solar eclipse 1914.

What I know two of the refractors was used as astrographs, 150 mm lens diameter and 1500 mm focal length. The third used for visual use, 160 mm lens and 1600 mm focal length.

From the solar eclipse 1914:

Vetenskapsakademiens solförmörkelseexpedition 1914 i Forse utanför Sollefteå Credit: Wikimedia
Vetenskapsakademiens solförmörkelseexpedition 1914 i Forse utanför Sollefteå
Medlemmar i Vetenskapsakademiens solförmörkelseexpedition till Forse (nuvarande Sollefteå kommun) i Ångermland 1914 stående framför den tillfälliga byggnaden för observationsinstrumentet. Från vänster: Knut Lundmark, Andrea Lindstedt, Östen Bergstrand, två okända män och Nils Tamm.
Photographer: Unknown

A photo from the solar eclipse 1914 and the triple refractor and its observatory building. Used 2 minutes and then transported back to Stockholm ! People on the photo: Knut Lundmark, Andrea Lindstedt, Östen Bergstrand, two unknown men and Nils Tamm.

This must be the triple refractor that can be found in Uppsala observatory park, a 7" refractor. Double shutter for glass plates. The third objective is for manually guiding the telescope during long exposures of chemical film. Think an hour or a little more. What I do know was that it was built for a solar eclipse and packed onto a railroad car to be transported north.

The telescope's motor:

Uppsala old observatory, triple refractor, Sweden Photographer: Christoffer Svenske

The mechanical clock and that is the motor that move the telescopes to follow the stars. Long time before the electronic quartz clocks were invented. It's amazing how they solved problems in earlier time without computers.

What a magnificent instrument !

Uppsala old observatory, triple refractor, Sweden Photographer: Christoffer Svenske

This triple refractor was partly donated 1914 from A. Gerh. Arfwedsons Donationsfond. It was donated 1914, the same year as the solar eclipse. Maybe it wasn't even installed here at Uppsala before they took it up to Northern Sweden for the observation of the solar eclipse.

Uppsala old observatory, Sweden

We leave the Triple refractor observatory and walk to next side observatory. The main observatory building in the background.

Additional information by Lars:

More about Uppsala's observatory:

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