Heckmann, Otto Hermann Leopold
- Paul A. SchonsAffiliated withUniversity of Saint Thomas Email author
BornOpladen, (Nordrhein-Westfalen), Germany, 23 June 1901
DiedGöttingen, Nordrhein-Westfalen (Germany), 13 May 1983
German mathematician and astronomer Otto Heckmann was instrumental in founding the European Southern Observatory [ESO], of which he was the first director, and also wrote a text in theoretical cosmology that guided a generation of researchers in German-speaking countries.
After completing Gymnasium in the Rhineland, Heckmann entered the University of Bonn, completing a doctorate in 1925 with a thesis on the positions and proper motions of stars in the nearby cluster Praesepe, using plates taken at Bonn and under the directorship of Karl Küstner. That same year he married Johanna (née) Topfmeier who predeceased him by 2 years; they had three children.
For two additional years at Bonn, Heckmann worked on the theory of the dynamics of star clusters. (One of the important implications of his thesis observations and that theory is that clusters like Praesepe will dissipate after a ...
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- Heckmann, Otto Hermann Leopold
- Reference Work Title
- Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers
- pp 922-923
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- Springer New York
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- Springer Science+Business Media New York
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- 1. Department of Earth Science, University of Northern Iowa
- 2. University of California, Irvine School of Physical Sciences
- 3. Rice University
- 4. Whitman College
- 5. York Univesity
- 6. University of Wisconsin
- 7. University of Oklahoma
- 8. Harvard University
- Paul A. Schons (843)
- Author Affiliations
- 843. University of Saint Thomas, St. Paul, MN, USA
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