Gottfried Kirch
Overview
 
Gottfried Kirch (December 18, 1639 – July 25, 1710) was a German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 astronomer
Astronomy
Astronomy is a natural science that deals with the study of celestial objects and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth...

. The son of a shoemaker in Guben
Guben
Guben is a town on the Lusatian Neisse river in the state of Brandenburg, Germany. Located in the Spree-Neiße district, Guben has a population of 20,049...

, Electorate of Saxony
Electorate of Saxony
The Electorate of Saxony , sometimes referred to as Upper Saxony, was a State of the Holy Roman Empire. It was established when Emperor Charles IV raised the Ascanian duchy of Saxe-Wittenberg to the status of an Electorate by the Golden Bull of 1356...

, Kirch first worked as a calendar
Calendar
A calendar is a system of organizing days for social, religious, commercial, or administrative purposes. This is done by giving names to periods of time, typically days, weeks, months, and years. The name given to each day is known as a date. Periods in a calendar are usually, though not...

-maker in Saxonia and Franconia
Franconia
Franconia is a region of Germany comprising the northern parts of the modern state of Bavaria, a small part of southern Thuringia, and a region in northeastern Baden-Württemberg called Tauberfranken...

. He began to learn astronomy in Jena
Jena
Jena is a university city in central Germany on the river Saale. It has a population of approx. 103,000 and is the second largest city in the federal state of Thuringia, after Erfurt.-History:Jena was first mentioned in an 1182 document...

, and studied under Hevelius in Danzig. In Danzig in 1667, Kirch published calendars and built several telescope
Telescope
A telescope is an instrument that aids in the observation of remote objects by collecting electromagnetic radiation . The first known practical telescopes were invented in the Netherlands at the beginning of the 1600s , using glass lenses...

s and instruments. His observations of the great comet
Great comet
A Great Comet is a comet that becomes exceptionally bright. There is no official definition; often the term will be attached to comets that become bright enough to be noticed by casual observers who are not actively looking for them, and become well known outside the astronomical community. Great...

 of 1680 led it to being called Kirch's Comet.

In 1686, Kirch went to Leipzig
Leipzig
Leipzig Leipzig has always been a trade city, situated during the time of the Holy Roman Empire at the intersection of the Via Regia and Via Imperii, two important trade routes. At one time, Leipzig was one of the major European centres of learning and culture in fields such as music and publishing...

.
Encyclopedia
Gottfried Kirch (December 18, 1639 – July 25, 1710) was a German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 astronomer
Astronomy
Astronomy is a natural science that deals with the study of celestial objects and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth...

. The son of a shoemaker in Guben
Guben
Guben is a town on the Lusatian Neisse river in the state of Brandenburg, Germany. Located in the Spree-Neiße district, Guben has a population of 20,049...

, Electorate of Saxony
Electorate of Saxony
The Electorate of Saxony , sometimes referred to as Upper Saxony, was a State of the Holy Roman Empire. It was established when Emperor Charles IV raised the Ascanian duchy of Saxe-Wittenberg to the status of an Electorate by the Golden Bull of 1356...

, Kirch first worked as a calendar
Calendar
A calendar is a system of organizing days for social, religious, commercial, or administrative purposes. This is done by giving names to periods of time, typically days, weeks, months, and years. The name given to each day is known as a date. Periods in a calendar are usually, though not...

-maker in Saxonia and Franconia
Franconia
Franconia is a region of Germany comprising the northern parts of the modern state of Bavaria, a small part of southern Thuringia, and a region in northeastern Baden-Württemberg called Tauberfranken...

. He began to learn astronomy in Jena
Jena
Jena is a university city in central Germany on the river Saale. It has a population of approx. 103,000 and is the second largest city in the federal state of Thuringia, after Erfurt.-History:Jena was first mentioned in an 1182 document...

, and studied under Hevelius in Danzig. In Danzig in 1667, Kirch published calendars and built several telescope
Telescope
A telescope is an instrument that aids in the observation of remote objects by collecting electromagnetic radiation . The first known practical telescopes were invented in the Netherlands at the beginning of the 1600s , using glass lenses...

s and instruments. His observations of the great comet
Great comet
A Great Comet is a comet that becomes exceptionally bright. There is no official definition; often the term will be attached to comets that become bright enough to be noticed by casual observers who are not actively looking for them, and become well known outside the astronomical community. Great...

 of 1680 led it to being called Kirch's Comet.

In 1686, Kirch went to Leipzig
Leipzig
Leipzig Leipzig has always been a trade city, situated during the time of the Holy Roman Empire at the intersection of the Via Regia and Via Imperii, two important trade routes. At one time, Leipzig was one of the major European centres of learning and culture in fields such as music and publishing...

. There, he observed the comet of 1686, together with Christoph Arnold
Christoph Arnold
Christoph Arnold was a German amateur astronomer.Born in Sommerfeld near Leipzig, Arnold was a farmer by profession. Interested in astronomy, he spotted the great comet of 1683, eight days before Hevelius did. He also observed the great comet of 1686. In 1686, Kirch went to Leipzig...

. At Leipzig, Kirch also met his second wife, Maria Winckelmann
Maria Margarethe Kirch
Maria Margarethe Kirch was a German astronomer, and one of the first famous astronomers of her period.-Early life:...

 (1670–1720), who had learned astronomy from Arnold.
In 1688, he invented and charted the now obsolete constellation Sceptrum Brandenburgicum
Sceptrum Brandenburgicum
Sceptrum Brandenburgicum was a constellation created in 1688 by Gottfried Kirch, astronomer of the Prussian Royal Society of Sciences. It represented the scepter used by the royal family of the Brandenburgs. It was located west from the constellation of Lepus...

, the Brandenburg Scepter. Later, in 1699, he observed comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle
55P/Tempel-Tuttle
55P/Tempel–Tuttle is a comet that was independently discovered by Ernst Tempel on December 19, 1865 and by Horace Parnell Tuttle on January 6, 1866.It is the parent body of the Leonid meteor shower...

 but this observation was not recognized until later analysis by Joachim Schubart.

In 1700, Kirch was appointed by Frederick I of Prussia
Frederick I of Prussia
Frederick I , of the Hohenzollern dynasty, was Elector of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia in personal union . The latter function he upgraded to royalty, becoming the first King in Prussia . From 1707 he was in personal union the sovereign prince of the Principality of Neuchâtel...

 as the first astronomer of the Prussian
Kingdom of Prussia
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom from 1701 to 1918. Until the defeat of Germany in World War I, it comprised almost two-thirds of the area of the German Empire...

 Royal Society of Sciences.

Kirch studied the double star Mizar
Mizar (star)
The Mizar–Alcor stellar sextuple system consists of the quadruple system Mizar and the binary system Alcor.- Description :Mizar is a quadruple system of two binary stars in the constellation Ursa Major and is the second star from the end of the Big Dipper's handle. Its apparent magnitude is 2.23...

, and discovered both the Wild Duck Cluster (Messier 11)
Wild Duck Cluster
The Wild Duck Cluster is an open cluster in the constellation Scutum. It was discovered by Gottfried Kirch in 1681. Charles Messier included it in his catalogue in 1764....

 (1681) and Globular Cluster M5 (May 5, 1702). He also discovered the variability of the Mira variable
Mira variable
Mira variables , named after the star Mira, are a class of pulsating variable stars characterized by very red colors, pulsation periods longer than 100 days, and light amplitudes greater than one magnitude in infrared and 2.5 magnitude in visual...

 Chi Cygni
Chi Cygni
Chi Cygni is a variable star of the Mira type in the constellation Cygnus.Chi Cygni shows one of the largest variations in magnitude known. Typically it brightens and fades from 5th to 13th magnitude. The average period of this brightness fluctuation is 407 days. Observed extremes were 3.3 and...

 in 1686.

He died at Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 at the age of seventy-one.

The crater Kirch
Kirch (crater)
Kirch is a small lunar impact crater in the eastern part of the Mare Imbrium, a large lunar mare in the northwest quadrant of the Moon. This is a relatively solitary formation with the nearest comparable crater being Piazzi Smyth to the northeast. Notable features in the vicinity are the Montes...

 on the Moon
Moon
The Moon is Earth's only known natural satellite,There are a number of near-Earth asteroids including 3753 Cruithne that are co-orbital with Earth: their orbits bring them close to Earth for periods of time but then alter in the long term . These are quasi-satellites and not true moons. For more...

 is named after him. The asteroid
Asteroid
Asteroids are a class of small Solar System bodies in orbit around the Sun. They have also been called planetoids, especially the larger ones...

 6841 Gottfriedkirch
6841 Gottfriedkirch
6841 Gottfriedkirch is an asteroid. It is named after the German astronomer Gottfried Kirch . It was originally designated 2034 P-L, and was discovered on September 24, 1960. It also bore the provisional designations 1954 YQ and ' from independent sightings.- Sources :*...

is also named after him.

Sources

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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