Christoph Scheiner

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Scheiner, Christoph

(krĭs`tôf shīn`ər), 1579?–1650, German astronomer and mathematician, a Jesuit priest. He taught at Ingolstadt, Rome, and elsewhere and became rector of a Jesuit college at Neisse, Germany, in 1622. His observation of sunspots in 1611 was recorded in two works (1612) and resulted in a controversy with Galileo, who claimed that he was the first to discover sunspots. Scheiner made over 2,000 observations of the sun and embodied the results of his studies in Rosa ursina (1630). His pioneer research on the physiology of vision appeared in his Oculus (1619).

Scheiner, Christoph


Born July 25, 1575, in Wald, near the city of Mindelheim; died July 18,1650, in Neisse. German astronomer, physicist, and mathematician.

Scheiner’s principal works were in the field of observational astronomy. In 1611, independently of Galileo and I. Fabricius, he discovered spots and faculae on the sun and determined the period of the sun’s rotation and the tilt of its axis relative to the plane of the ecliptic. In 1613, Scheiner constructed a telescope that is considered the world’s first refractor.