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.