Wolf, Rudolf

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Wolf, Rudolf


Born July 7, 1816, in Fällenden, near Zurich; died Dec. 6, 1896, in Zurich. Swiss astronomer. Specialist in the study of sunspots and in the history of astronomy.

Wolf became director of the Bern Observatory in 1847, a professor at the University of Zurich in 1855, and director of the Zurich Observatory in 1864. Wolf determined that the average duration of a cycle of changes in the number of sun-spots is equal to 11 1/9 years, and he established the existence of a connection between this period and variations in the earth’s magnetic field. He also introduced the so-called Wolf number to characterize solar activity.


Geschichie der Astronomic. Munich, 1877.
Handbuch der Astronomic, ihrer Geschichte und Literatur, vols. 1-2. Zurich, 1890-93.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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