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EPS Historic Sites - Hven Island, Sweden

The seventh EPS Historic Site ceremony since 2011 took place on 11 September 2013 on Hven Island, in the municipality of Landskrona, Øresund, Sweden.

Hven is the island where the world famous astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) built the most advanced observatory in 16th-century Europe for visual observation of the sky. His observations were performed using sophisticated quadrants and sextants that he himself designed, without a telescope (Galileo Galilei would be born twenty years later than Tycho Brahe and die 40 years later), and his scientific legacy in terms of results and experimental procedures paved the way for our modern knowledge of the world.

The rich day-long programme included the ferry ride to Hven Island from Landskrona, unveiling of the EPS plaque placed at the reception of Tycho Brahe's Museum, a guided tour to the sites of Uraniborg (palace observatory) and Stjerneborg (underground observatory), a visit to the museum, a lecture on Tycho Brahe, and dinner on the island and return to Landskrona at sunset.

The whole ceremony was honoured by the presence of the Mayor of Landskrona, Lennart Söderberg, the Rector of the University of Lund, Per Eriksson, the President of the Swedish Physical Society, Anne-Sofie Mårtensson, the former President of the Danish Physical Society, Jørgen Schou, and many other distinguished colleagues and guests, including the proposer of the historic site, Ragnar Hellborg, from the University of Lund.

The outstanding lecture on Tycho Brahe's life on the island and his scientific achievements was delivered by John Robert Christianson, research professor of History at Luther College in Iowa, USA, and an expert in the field, followed by a presentation of the EPS Historic Sites initiative by EPS Vice-president Luisa Cifarelli.

Hven Island combines a highly significant and inspiring site for science, together with a site of absolute natural beauty which showed up in all of its splendour, with the complicity of the transparent Scandinavian light of a sunny and mild September afternoon.

More information

Unveiling of the plaque by Per Eriksson, rector of Lund University and Luisa Cifarelli, EPS vice-president

© R. Hellborg/L. Cifarelli

Hven Island combines a highly significant and inspiring site for science, together with a site of absolute natural beauty

The Stjerneborg observatory of Tycho Brahe
© L. Cifarelli - right-click to enlarge image
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