Monday, 17 January 2022

die sternjägerin

Born this day in the City of Gdańsk in 1647 (†1693), Elisabeth Catherina Hevelius (née Koopmann) is considered to be one of the first women astronomers and significantly contributed to observational knowledge of the skies, publishing Prodromus astronomiæ in 1690, a catalogue of over fifteen hundred stars. Sharing the same professional passion as her husband, Johannes Hevelius (Jan Heweliusz), the two—both from a wealthy merchant background, moved around the various cities of the Hanseatic League before returning Danzig and constructing a complex of buildings which was at the time among the best observatories in the world (Stellæburgum—Star Castle) and garnered quite an international reputation with extensive joint research on sunspots and selenography (charting the features of the lunar surface) and hosting visiting dignitaries and scientists like Edmond Halley—greatly impressed by the couple’s calculations that articulated how comets orbit the Sun in parabolic paths.