Bengt Edlén

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Bengt Edlén (right) with king Gustaf VI Adolf.

Bengt Edlén (November 2, 1906, Gusum – February 10, 1993, Lund) was a Swedish professor of physics and astronomer who specialized in spectroscopy. He participated in solving the Corona Mystery: unidentified spectral lines in the sun's spectrum were speculatively believed to originate from a hitherto unidentified chemical element termed coronium. Edlén later showed that those lines are from multiply ionized iron (Fe-XIV). His discovery was not immediately accepted, since the alleged ionization required a temperature of millions of degrees. Later such solar corona temperatures were verified.

He also made an important contribution in analyzing spectra of Wolf-Rayet stars.[1][2]

Edlén was professor at Lund University from 1944 to 1973. He was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1947. He graduated from high school in Norrköping in 1926 and entered the University of Uppsala, eventually graduating with a PhD in 1934.[3]

Bengt Edlén received the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society 1945 for the solution of the Corona Mystery,[4] the Howard N. Potts Medal in 1946 for researches in the extreme ultraviolet,[5] and the Henry Draper Medal of the National Academy of Sciences[6] in 1968.


  1. ^ Beals, C. S. (1933). "Classification and temperatures of Wolf-Rayet stars". The Observatory. 56: 196–197. Bibcode:1933Obs....56..196B. 
  2. ^ Swings, P. (1942). "The Spectra of Wolf-Rayet Stars and Related Objects". Astrophysical Journal. 95: 112–133. Bibcode:1942ApJ....95..112S. doi:10.1086/144379. 
  3. ^ Hockey, Thomas (2009). The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers. Springer Publishing. ISBN 978-0-387-31022-0. Retrieved August 22, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Winners of the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society". Royal Astronomical Society. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
  5. ^ "The Franklin Institute Awards - Laureate Search". 
  6. ^ "Henry Draper Medal". National Academy of Sciences. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 

External links[edit]

Grave of professor Bengt Edlén in Lund Sweden.JPG