- Friedrich Wilhelm Argelander
name = Friedrich Wilhelm Argelander
image_width = 150px
caption = Friedrich Wilhelm Argelander
March 22 1799
February 17 1875
alma_mater = Königsberg
doctoral_advisor = Friedrich Bessel
Friedrich Wilhelm August Argelander (
March 22 1799– February 17 1875) was a Prussian astronomer. He is known for his determinations of stellar brightnesses, positions, and distances.
Life and work
Argelander was born in
Memelin the Kingdom of Prussia(now Klaipėdain Lithuania), the son of a Finnish father and German mother. He studied with Friedrich Bessel, and obtained his Ph.D.in 1822 at Königsberg. From 1823 until 1837, Argelander was the head of the Finnish observatoryat Turkuthen at Helsinki. He then moved to Bonn, Germany. There he developed a friendship with King Frederick William IV, who funded a new observatory at the University of Bonn.
Argelander excelled in developing effective, simple and fast methods for measuring star positions and magnitudes, thereby making a pioneering work for modern astronomy. He also measured star distances with heliometers. His, and his collaborators, great practical works of star cataloging and variable star research were made possible by the systematic usage of then newly developed techniques. [cite web | title = F. W. A. Argelander | url = http://www.astro.uni-bonn.de/~geffert/ge/arg/arg.htm | access-date = 2008-05-20 (in German)]
Argelander was the first astronomer to begin a careful study of
variable stars. Only a handful were known when he began, and he was responsible for introducing the modern system of identifying them. He also made a rough determination of the direction in which the Sunwas moving.
Adalbert Krügerand Eduard Schönfeld, Argelander was responsible for the star catalogueknown as the " Bonner Durchmusterung", published between 1852 and 1859, which gave the positions and brightness of more than 324,000 stars, although it did not cover much of the southern half of the sky. This was the last star map to be published without the use of photography.
In 1863, Argelander founded an international organization of astronomers named the "
Honors and legacy
* The Argelander crater on the
Moonand the asteroid 1551 Argelanderare named for him.
* Argelander won the
Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Societyin 1863.
* In 2006, the three astronomical institutes of the Bonn University were merged and renamed as the "Argelander-Institut für Astronomie".
* (Parts of this article are based on this source.)
* cite encyclopedia
last = Sticker | first = Bernhard
title = Argelander, Friedrich Wilhelm August
Dictionary of Scientific Biography
volume = 1
pages = 240-243
publisher = Charles Scribner's Sons
location = New York
date = 1970
isbn = 0684101149
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