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Resolute and Undertaking Characters: The Lives of Wilhelm and Otto Struve

  • Fester Einband
  • 259 Seiten
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My interest in the history of the Struve family is long-standing but lay dormant until 1972, when I found myself organizing a symp... Weiterlesen
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My interest in the history of the Struve family is long-standing but lay dormant until 1972, when I found myself organizing a symposium of the International Astronomical Union in memory of the second Otto Struve. To satisfy my own curiosity, I investigated the precise relationships of the famous astronomers in the family and published an account of them, based mainly on secondary sources. The exercise made me a ware that there was no biography in English of the first and probably still the greatest astronomer in the clan - Friedrich Georg Wilhelm Struve. Wilhelm's son, the first Otto, wrote an account (in German) of his father's life, intended primarily for family and close friends and --though printed-- not generally available. Through the kindness of a family member I have a copy from which I have been able to work. The Soviet historian of science, Z. K. Sokolovskaya, wrote a biography in Russian, in 1964, to mark the centenary of Wilhelm's death. This had a limited edition, and my efforts to obtain a copy failed. Neither work has, in its entirety, been translated into English, although Michael Meo of Oakland, California, and Kevin Krisciunas of Hilo, Hawaii, have kindly made available to me their unpublished translations of some sections of the latter. In the of a complete copy, however, when I decided to attempt an English absence language biography, I thought it best to do so independently of Sokolovskaya's.


Wilhelm Struve founded a dynasty of astronomers that lasted into the fifth generation. This book follows the fortunes of the first three generations: Wilhelm himself was an outstanding astronomer and geodesist, famous for his pioneering observations of double stars - observations whose quality had not been surpassed until the development of modern methods of instrumental observational analysis. He is also well known as one of the three men who - almost simultaneously - succeeded in measuring the distance to one of the fixed stars. He founded the great observatory of Pulkovo, just outside modern Leningrad, and was succeeded as Director of the institution by his son Otto, who forms the subject of the second part of the book. Otto, too, was a famous observer of double stars and a great practitioner of the fundamental astronomy of the nineteenth century.

Preface. General Note. Bibliographical Note. Acknowledgements. Chronological Summary of the lives of Wilhelm and Otto Struve. 1: Family Origins and Wilhelm's Childhood. 2: Student Days at Dorpat University. 3: Astronomy at the Beginning of the Nineteenth Century. 4: Measuring the Earth. 5: The Great Refractor. 6: The Founding of Pulkovo. 7: The Astronomical Capital of the World. 8: Measuring the Sky. 9: The Early Pulkovo Years. 10: `Etudes d'astronomie stellaire'. 11: Wilhelm's Illness and Last Years, 12: The Transition. 13: The Companion of Procyon and the Transits of Venus. 14: The 30-inch Refractor. 15: Mapping the Sky. 16: Otto's Retirement and Last Years. Epilogue: The Family Tradition. Name Index. Subject Index.


Titel: Resolute and Undertaking Characters: The Lives of Wilhelm and Otto Struve
EAN: 9789027726520
ISBN: 978-90-277-2652-0
Format: Fester Einband
Herausgeber: Springer Netherlands
Genre: Physik & Astronomie
Anzahl Seiten: 259
Jahr: 1988
Untertitel: Englisch
Auflage: 1988

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