The University of Tartu Observatory is a jewel in the crown of the scientific history of the world! The research that has been carried out here has changed the way we understand our planet and the universe on more than one occasion...
The observatory's director, Friedrich Georg Wilhelm Struve, was one of the first people in the world to measure the distance of a star from our solar system - an activity he undertook between 1835 and 1836. Between 1816 and 1852 he and his colleague Carl Friedrich Tenner led the measurement of the meridian arc from northern Norway to the Black Sea. This arc, which today is known as the Struve Geodetic Arc, was of great importance to the development of geodesy and cartography. The arc was added to the list of UNESCO world heritage in 2005.