Paul Guthnick
Paul Guthnick was a German
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...

An astronomer is a scientist who studies celestial bodies such as planets, stars and galaxies.Historically, astronomy was more concerned with the classification and description of phenomena in the sky, while astrophysics attempted to explain these phenomena and the differences between them using...


Born in Hitdorf am Rhein, he worked from 1901 at the Royal Observatory of Berlin
Berlin Observatory
The Berlin Observatory is a series of observatories and related organizations in and around the city of Berlin in Germany, starting from the 18th century...

. He studied variable stars and studied Mira
Mira also known as Omicron Ceti , is a red giant star estimated 200-400 light years away in the constellation Cetus. Mira is a binary star, consisting of the red giant Mira A along with Mira B. Mira A is also an oscillating variable star and was the first non-supernova variable star discovered,...

 (Ceti). As Berlin expanded, it became less possible to conduct astronomical observations there and Guthnick used, from 1906 onwards, the local park known as Babelsberg
Babelsberg is the largest district of the Brandenburg capital Potsdam in Germany. The affluent neighbourhood named after a small hill on the Havel river is famous for Babelsberg Palace and Park, part of the Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as for Studio...

. An observatory
An observatory is a location used for observing terrestrial or celestial events. Astronomy, climatology/meteorology, geology, oceanography and volcanology are examples of disciplines for which observatories have been constructed...

 was later built there after approval by the government. He was appointed professor of astrophysics at the University of Berlin in 1916. In 1921, he became director of the Babelsberg Observatory
Astrophysical Institute Potsdam
Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam is a German research institute. It is the successor of the Berlin Observatory founded in 1700 and of the Astrophysical Observatory Potsdam founded in 1874. The latter was the world's first observatory to emphasize explicitly the research area of...


He conducted observations of the star
A star is a massive, luminous sphere of plasma held together by gravity. At the end of its lifetime, a star can also contain a proportion of degenerate matter. The nearest star to Earth is the Sun, which is the source of most of the energy on Earth...

s of the Southern Hemisphere
Southern Hemisphere
The Southern Hemisphere is the part of Earth that lies south of the equator. The word hemisphere literally means 'half ball' or "half sphere"...

 on an expedition to Windhoek
Windhoek is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Namibia. It is located in central Namibia in the Khomas Highland plateau area, at around above sea level. The 2001 census determined Windhoek's population was 233,529...

 in 1929. After the seizure of power by the Nazis in 1933, Guthnick adapted himself to new conditions under the regime, although he opposed the Welteislehre
Welteislehre , also known as Glazial-Kosmogonie is a pseudoscientific cosmological theory proposed by Hans Hörbiger, an Austrian engineer and inventor and respected steam engine designer, whose invention of the Hörbiger valve made him a wealthy man.Hörbiger did not arrive at his theory through...

 theories that were favored by Himmler.

He died in Berlin.

The lunar crater Guthnick
Guthnick (crater)
Guthnick is a lunar impact crater that lies on the far side of the Moon's surface from the Earth. However, it is located in the part of the far side that is sometimes brought into sight of the Earth due to libration, although it can only be seen at a low angle and during favorable lighting conditions...

is named after him.
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