Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers

Olbers, Heinrich Wilhelm

 

Born Oct. 11, 1758, in Arbergen, near Bremen; died Mar. 2, 1840, in Bremen. German astronomer and physician.

Olbers was primarily involved in observing comets and calculating cometary orbits. He discovered six new comets, one of which, discovered in 1815, bears his name. He also developed a method of determining the parabolic orbit of a comet on the basis of three observations. In 1802, using K. Gauss’ calculations, he rediscovered the first asteroid, Ceres, which had been lost track of shortly after its discovery in 1801. That same year he discovered a second asteroid, Pallas, and in 1807 a fourth, Vesta. Olbers advanced the hypothesis that asteroids are remnants of a planet that had been situated between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

WORKS

Über die leichteste und bequemste Methode, die Bahn eines Kometen aus einegen Beobachtungen zu berechnen. Weimar, 1797.
References in periodicals archive ?
At least one scientist, astronomer Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers, had begun to accept the notion of a heavenly origin for Chladni's stones.
Early in the 19th century, German physician and amateur astronomer Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers argued that if stars were evenly distributed throughout space in an infinite universe, an observer looking far enough in any direction ought to see a star.