Date: 03 Sep 2014

Fauth, Philipp Johann Heinrich

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BornBad Dürkheim, (Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany), 19 March 1868

DiedGruenwald, Bavaria, Germany, 4 January 1941

Philipp Fauth was the last of the great lunar cartographers to rely principally on visual observations. The oldest of three children born into a long-established family of pottery-makers, his interest in astronomy was kindled at about the age of seven when he was awakened by his father and carried outside to see comet Coggia (C/1874 Q1) gleaming in the predawn sky. Like William Herschel, Fauth was a musical prodigy, having taken up the violin at the tender age of five. While music would remain a lifelong passion, Fauth chose to become a schoolteacher.

In 1890, Fauth established a private observatory atop a grass-covered knoll on the outskirts of Kaiserslautern. His observatory was equipped with a refractor of 162-mm aperture. In 1893 and again in 1895 he issued impressive monographs; the latter contained topographic charts of 25 selected regions of the Moon, masterfully executed in ...