Linda Hall Library
Science Engineering Technology

Stanislaw Lubieniecki

Stanislaw Lubieniecki, a Polish astronomer, died May 18, 1675, at the age of 51. Stanislaw’s hometown of Rakow (Racovia in Latin) was a hotbed of Socinianism—an essentially Unitarian sect. The Racovian Academy, a Socinian school, attracted students from all over...

Ulugh Beg

Ulugh Beg, a Mongol ruler and astronomer, died Oct. 27, 1449, at age 55. Ulugh Beg built a research institute (madrasah) and an observatory in Samarkand, in what is now Uzbekistan. The observatory, which was completed about 1429, had several massive instruments,...

Michael Maestlin

Michael Maestlin, a German astronomer, was born Sep. 30, 1550. Maestlin taught astronomy at the University of Tübingen, in southwestern Germany. In the 50 years that had passed since Copernicus proposed that the earth is a planet and moves around the sun, very few...

John Flamsteed

John Flamsteed, an English astronomer, was born Aug. 19, 1646. Flamsteed became the first Astronomer Royal of England in 1675, and he worked at the newly-built Greenwich Observatory for 44 years, observing the planets and the moon, and compiling a detailed catalog and...

Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel

Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel, a German astronomer, was born July 22, 1784 (see third image above). Bessel was the first astronomer to measure the parallax of a star. Stellar parallax is a slight displacement of a star, caused by the motion of the earth around the sun; the...