Pulkovo Observatory, St. Petersburgh, Russia


The distinguished astronomer Jay Pasachoff, Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy and Director of Hopkins Observatory at Williams College, author of several astronomy books including the Peterson Field Guide to Stars and Planets and member of the Amateur Astronomers Association from 1956 to 1959, visited the famed Pulkovo Observatory in St. Petersburg in August 2007.

In the observatory’s museum he saw two certificates awarded to Pulkovo by the AAA, including the Amateur Astronomers Medal in August 1975. The medal is awarded “For meritorious service to the science of astronomy” in this instance  “As a result of his development of a revolutionary telescope design adopted by amateur astronomers throughout the world, Dimetri Maksutov brought to his countrymen and his colleagues at Pulkovo Observatory the respect and admiration of the entire international astronomical community.”  Pasachoff took photographs of these as well as the observatory’s 15″ lens from 1845, and the main observatory building (rebuilt after World War II). Jay thoughtfully sent us copies of the photographs.

The Amateur Astronomers Medal certificate presented by the AAA to Pulkovo Observatory.

The Amateur Astronomers Medal certificate presented by the AAA to Pulkovo Observatory.

38 cm (15 inch) lens from 1845.

38 cm (15 inch) lens from 1845.

38 cm (15 inch) lens from 1845.

38 cm (15 inch) lens from 1845.

 

Case holding the Amateur Astronomers Medal certificate (right) and historic items.

Case holding the Amateur Astronomers Medal certificate (right) and historic items.

33 inch refractor from the 1940's.

33 inch refractor from the 1940’s.

 

The main observatory building (rebuilt after World War II).

The main observatory building (rebuilt after World War II).