BornSelmecbánya (Bánska Stiavnica, Slovakia), 15 May 1720
DiedVienna (Austria), 14 April 1792
Maximilian Hell (Höll) was a Hungarian astronomer whose reputation was tarnished because of his observations of the transit of Venus. He was the son of Máté Kornél Hell, a well-known mathematician and mine technician, and Julianna Viktória Staindl. Hell entered the Society of Jesus in 1738 and was sent to Vienna to study philosophy at the university. From 1744 he studied mathematics and astronomy and served as an assistant in the Jesuits’ observatory of Vienna. Hell spent 1 year in Lőcse (Levoca, now Slovakia) as a teacher, and in 1747 he returned to Vienna to study theology. He was ordained priest in 1752, then became the professor of mathematics in Kolozsvár (Klausenburg, now Cluj-Napoca in Romania). In 1755 Hell was appointed professor of mechanics at the university and director of the new observatory in Vienna.
Although he lived in Vienna, Hell had close...
- Ashbrook, Joseph (1984). “Father Hell’s Reputation.” In The Astronomical Scrapbook, edited by Leif J. Robinson, pp. 218–221. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Sky Publishing Corp.Google Scholar