Friedrich August Theodor Winnecke (February 5, 1835 - December 3, 1897)

Friedrich August Theodor Winnecke was born on February 5, 1835 in Groß-Heere near Hildesheim, Germany. He studied astronomy at Göttingen, Berlin and Bonn and worked with Gauss, Encke and Argelander. In 1858 he was appointed at the observatory in Pulkowa, Russia. Because of weak health, he was forced to return to Bonn in 1865. In the following years he was slowly recovering, and in 1872, he accepted an appointment as Professor of Astronomy in Strassburg. After 9 years as director, observer and instructor in Strassburg, his health failed again in 1881. Winnecke died on December 3, 1897 at Bonn.

Winnecke was an assiduous observer who discovered 10 comets between 1854 and 1877, among them periodic comet 7/P Pons-Winnecke. One of them, 1868 II, became famous for being the first one to have its spectrum observed (visually by William Huggins). He did a large number of stellar observations. In Strasbourg, he initiated a survey of 'nebulae' with the goal of obtaining exact nebular positions which was completed by Kobold and Wirtz in 1911 only.

In 1869, he published a paper entitled "Doppelsternmessungen (Double Star Measurements), in Astronomische Nachrichten No. 1738, vol 73, p 147-160, published in Altona, February 8, 1869. In this paper he included 7 newly discovered double stars, the "Winnecke Catalog of Double Stars." No. 4 of them, Winnecke 4, is M40, as found out by John Mallas.

Winnecke discovered several other deepsky objects, including 8 real and 1 non-existing NGC objects (communicated by letter to Dreyer).


 C/1854 Y1    1854 V            Winnecke-Dien (I.1855)
7P/1858 E1    1858 II           P/Pons-Winnecke (II. 1858)
 C/1867 S1    1867 III          Baeker-Winnecke
 C/1868 L1    1868 II           Winnecke
7P/1869 G1    1869 I      1869a P/Pons-Winnecke
 C/1870 K1    1870 I      1870a Winnecke
 C/1870 W1    1870 IV     1870d Winnecke
 C/1871 G1    1871 I      1871a Winnecke
 C/1874 D1    1874 I      1874a Winnecke
 C/1874 G1    1874 II     1874b Winnecke
7P/           1875 I      1875b P/Pons-Winnecke
 C/1877 G1    1877 II     1877b Winnecke
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