Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, JoAnn Palmeri, Daniel W. E. Green

Schröter, Johann Hieronymus

  • Clifford J. Cunningham
Reference work entry

BornErfurt, (Thüringen, Germany), 30 August 1745

DiedLilienthal, (Niedersachsen, Germany), 29 August 1816

Observational astronomer, telescope builder, and noted selenographer, Johann Schröter provided the first extensive description of lunar rilles and solar granulation (convection cells). He was also the first to establish the presence of an atmosphere around Venus.

Schröter’s father, Paul Christoph Schröter, was a lawyer who married Regina Sophia Streckroth in 1729. In 1764, Johann went to Göttingen to study law. But the observatory director, Abraham Gotthelf Kästner, awakened a love of astronomy in the young jurist. In 1777, Schröter was appointed secretary of the Royal Chamber (of King George III) in Hanover.

Being musically inclined, Schröter got to know the family of regimental bandmaster Isaak Herschel, who had nine children. The eldest of these,  William Herschel, was a self-taught astronomer. Returning from a visit to England, William’s brother Dietrich brought Schröter his...

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Selected References

  1. Baum, Richard (1991). “The Lilienthal Tragedy.” Journal of the British Astronomical Association 101: 369–371.ADSGoogle Scholar
  2. Denning, W. F. (1904). “Schroeter and the Burning of Lilienthal in 1813.” Observatory 27 (1904): 313.ADSGoogle Scholar
  3. Gerdes, Dieter (1986). Das Leben und das Werk des Astronomen Dr. Johann Hieronymus Schroeter, geboren am 30. August 1745 zu Erfurt. Lilienthal: Gerdes.Google Scholar
  4. Oestmann, Günther (2002). “Astronomical Dilettante or Misunderstood Genius? On Johann Hieronymus Schroeter’s Image in the History of Science.” In Astronomie von Olbers bis Schwarzschild, edited by Wolfgang R. Dick, pp. 9–24. Acta Historica Astronomiae, Vol. 14. Frankfurt am Main: Harri Deutsch.Google Scholar
  5. Sheehan, William and Richard Baum (1995). “Observation and Inference: Johann Hieronymus Schroeter, 1745–1816.” Journal of the British Astronomical Association 105: 171.ADSGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clifford J. Cunningham
    • 1
  1. 1.National Astronomical Research Institute of ThailandChiang MaiThailand