Friday, April 23, 2010
Bengt Edlén (November 2, 1906 – February 10, 1993) 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.
Edlén was professor at Lund University 1944–1973. He was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1947.
Bengt Edlén received The Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society 1945 for the solution of the Corona Mystery, the Howard N. Potts Medal in 1946 for researches in the extreme ultraviolet, and the Henry Draper Medal in 1968.