Johan [Jan] Hevelius (January 28, 1611 - January 28, 1687)

Johan (or Jan, or Johannes) Hevel (or Hevelke, Hewel, Hewelcke, Höwelcke; latinized Hevelius) was living in Dantzig as a wealthy brewer and city councillor. He built his observatory "Sternenburg" on the upper floors of four houses, and installed a 130-foot focal length air telescope. His contributions to astronomy include: For the latter project, he obtained positions for 1564 stars. These were eventually published posthumously in 1690 by his second wife, Elizabeth Margarethe, in a catalog, Prodomus Astronomiae, and an atlas, Uranographia, which contained 54 fine plates. Both these works also contain the positions of 16 'nebulous stars'. Unfortunately, of these, only two (M31 and M44) are real deepsky objects, which did not prevent this collection to become famous and cause many astronomers to spend a lot of time to look for them without success, including Derham and Messier.

Hevelius is commemorated by the naming of Moon Crater Hevelius (2.2N, 67.6W, 115.0 km diameter, named 1935) as well as asteroid (5703) Hevelius, discovered November 15, 1931 by K. Reinmuth in Heidelberg, provisionally designated 1931 VS as well as 1931 XH, 1964 VU and 1989 VL from independent findings.



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