Johannes Hevelius

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Hevelius, Johannes


(also Hewel or Höwelcke). Born Jan. 28, 1611, in Gdańsk; died there Jan. 28, 1687. Polish astronomer-observer and founder of selenography.

Hevelius built an observatory in Gdansk. He published the first accurate, detailed, and artistically executed maps of the moon (in Selenography or the Description of the Moon [1647], he named many features of the moon’s surface). He also discovered the moon’s optical libration (1647), the phases of Mercury, and four comets and made the first accurate measurement of the sun’s period of rotation. Hevelius constructed sextants, quadrants without optics (for accurate measurements), and refractors (up to 70 m, “aerial tubes” for observations). He compiled (1687) a catalog of 1,564 stars that was more accurate than that of Tycho Brahe and delineated 11 new constellations. In The Celestial Machine (1673) he described his observatory.


Atlas zvezdnogo neba. Edited by V. P. Shcheglov. Tashkent, 1968.


Seleshnikov, S. I. Astronomiia i kosmonavtika. Kiev, 1967.
Eremeeva, A. I. Vydaiushchiesia astronomy mira. Moscow, 1966. Pages 110-14.


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From an early stage, the society was called on to assess and adjudicate scientific findings from overseas, as with the conflicting observations of the course of the comet of 1665 made by Johann Hevelius in Danzig and Adrien Auzout in Paris.
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There is also a Constellations Art layer based on engravings of 50 constellations done by the German astronomer Johannes Hevelius in 1690.
In addition, David Rumsey's historical maps of the sky, from 1792 onwards, show how sky conceptions have changed, while the Constellations Art layer provides Sky imagery based on engravings by astronomer Johannes Hevelius.