Date: 03 Sep 2014

Argelander, Friedrich Wilhelm August

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BornMemel, Prussia (Klaipeda, Lithuania), 23 March 1799

DiedBonn, Germany, 17 February 1875

Argelander, Friedrich Wilhelm August. Reproduced by permission of Helsinki University Museum (A photograph of the portrait by Carl Peter Mazer in 1837)

Friedrich Argelander was an observatory director who confirmed solar motion from stellar proper motions; he later produced the Bonner Durchmusterung. Argelander was the son of merchant and shipowner Johann Gottfried Argelander (whose father was Finnish) and Wilhelmina Dorotea Grünhagen. In 1823, Argelander married Maria Sophia Charlotte Courtan, and they had one daughter: Maria Wilhelmina Amalia.

Argelander studied astronomy in the University of Königsberg under Friedrich Bessel, completing his dissertation in 1822. Next year, he was appointed as observator (associate professor) in Finland, at the University of Turku (Åbo in Swedish). The observatory in Turku had been founded in 1819, but its first observator, Henrik Johan Walbeck, died unexpectedly. ...