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the completion of the formal acces- sion procedure. Before this event, howev- er, Finland and ESO had been in contact for a long time. Under an agreement with Sweden, Finnish astronomers had for quite a while enjoyed access to the SEST at La Silla. Finland had also been a very active participant in ESO\u2019s educational activities since they began in 1993. It became clear, that science and technology, as well as education, were priority areas for the Finnish government.
Meanwhile, the optical astronomers in Finland had been engaged in the Nordic Optical Telescope at La Palma and a con- sensus evolved that full access to ESO would be important for the further devel- opment of Finnish astronomy as a whole.
Consequently, in September 1999, we were approached informally by a Finnish delegation, headed by Mirja Araj\u00e4rvi, spe- cial government advisor to the Minister of
Education and Science, and exchanged preliminary information. I was then invit- ed to Helsinki and, with Massimo Tarenghi, we presented ESO and its scien- tific and technological programmes and had a meeting with Finnish authorities, setting up the process towards formal membership. In March 2000, an interna- tional evaluation panel, established by the Academy of Finland, recommended Finland to join ESO \u201canticipating further increase in the world-standing of Astronomy in Finland\u201d. In February 2002, we were invited to hold an information seminar on ESO in Helsinki as a prelude towards membership. This we did in May 2002 and this time six of us went to Helsinki: in addition to Massimo, I was accompanied by Ian Corbett, Richard Kurz, Claus Madsen and Richard West. The event attracted a great deal of atten- tion and was very successful.
which started in June 2002, and were con- ducted satisfactorily through 2003, mak- ing possible a visit to Garching on 9 February 2004 by the Finnish Minister of Education and Science, Ms. Tuula Haatainen, to sign the membership agree- ment together with myself.
Before that, in early November 2003, ESO participated in the Helsinki Space Exhibition at the Kaapelitehdas Cultural Centre with approx. 24,000 visitors.
ESO warmly welcomes the new mem- ber country and its scientific community that is renowned for its expertise in many frontline areas. The related opportunities will contribute to strengthening of pio- neering research with the powerful facili- ties at ESO's observatories, to the benefit of Astronomy and Astrophysics as well as European science in general. ESO also looks forward to collaboration with the Finnish high-tech industry and further interaction in the areas of outreach and education.
ESO\u2019s stand at the Helsinki
Space Exhibition at the
Kaapelitehdas Cultural Centre.
in Astronomy. The first University in Finland, the Academy of Turku (\u00c5bo), was
founded in 1640, and Astronomy was taught there from the very beginning. The first Finnish scientist to rise to world fame was the astronomer and math- ematician Anders Lexell who was appoint- ed Docent of the Academy in 1763. Lexell showed that a comet, discovered in 1770, would, after a passage close to Jupiter in 1779 be slung out of the solar system. This happened as predicted, was a great victory of celestial mechanics and Newton\u2019s theory, and made Lexell\u2019s name and the comet famous all over Europe.
In 1748 the first dedicated position in Astronomy, Observator, was established, and in 1817-19 an observatory was built, equipped with the best instruments of its time. The observator Henrik Johan Walbeck became known for his study on the size and shape of the Earth. In 1823, the Academy invited, following the advice ofWilhelm Bessel, his pupil FriedrichW. A. Argelander to the Observator position. Argelander\u2019s grandfather, a smith and a descendant of the family of Kauhanen-Argillander from Savo county in eastern Finland, had moved to Prussia where his son became a wealthy merchant.Argelander\u2019s activity at the new observatory was soon to be interrupted by the great fire ofTurku. In his observing log- book of the evening of September 4th, 1827, one can read the following classical state- ment by a scientist living in his \u201civory tower\u201d: \u201cThese observations were interrupt-
ed by a terrible fire which put into ashes almost the whole city, but thank the Lord, left the observatory intact.\u201d
As a consequence of the fire, the capital of Finland and the University were relocated to Helsinki. There, a new observatory, designed in close collaboration between Argelander and the state architect C. L. Engel, was established in 1834 (Fig. 1).The Observator position was upgraded to
Professor\u2019s chair in 1828, and Argelander was appointed its first holder. Based on accurate proper motions from his own meridian circle observations in Turku and earlier data from others, Argelander pub- lished in 1837 a famous study on the deter- mination of the Solar Apex. However, with- in the same year he moved to Bonn where he founded a new observatory and rose to become one of the leading figures of 19th century Astronomy.
After Argelander, the Observatory par- ticipated under the leadership of Adalbert Kr\u00fcger, in the big international catalog work AGK1 of the Astronomische Gesellschaft. At the turn of the century the most extensive
international enterprise in Astronomy so far, the photographic \u201cCarte du Ciel\u201dsurvey, started with the participation of Helsinki (Anders Donner) and seventeen other lead- ing observatories around the world. The celestial mechanics tradition was continued at the beginning of the 20thcentury by Karl F. Sundman whose works on the three-body problem brought him international fame. Later on, research in celestial mechanics and relativity theory was carried out by Gustaf J\u00e4rnefelt and Paul Kustaanheimo. Astrophy- sical and Radio Astronomy research were introduced at the University of Helsinki by Jaakko Tuominen after World War II.
AN OVERVIEW IS GIVEN OF ASTRONOMICAL RESEARCH IN FINLAND. THERE ARE THREE INSTITUTES DEVOTED TO ASTRONOMYIN GENERAL,AT THE UNIVERSITIESOF HELSINKI, OULU,AND TURKU,ANDA RADIO ASTRONOMY OBSERVATORY AT THE HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY. IN ADDITION, SOLAR SYSTEM RESEARCH WITH
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