Oskar Backlund: The Eleventh Bruce Medalist

The Pulkovo Observatory, established by Czar Nicholas I in the 1830s, served the needs of the Russian empire just as the Royal Greenwich Observatory, the Paris Observatory, and the U.S. Naval Observatory served their own governments. In the nineteenth century every great power needed astronomers to furnish accurate time, provide precise almanacs for navigators, and help map the Earth.