Struve, Friedrich Georg Wilhelm
BornAltona, (Hamburg, Germany), 15 April 1793
DiedSaint Petersburg, Russia, 23 November 1864
Wilhelm Struve (as he was usually known) was the founding director of the Pulkovo Observatory and codiscoverer of stellar parallax. Through his many descendants, he created a family dynasty of Russian-born astronomers across the span of four generations. Struve, the son of Jakob and Maria Emerentia (née Wiese) Struve, was educated at the Christianeum in Altona, the gymnasium at which his father was rector, and later at the University of Dorpat (now Tartu) in Estonia (then part of the Russian empire). He studied classical philology and graduated in 1810 but switched to the study of astronomy and received both master’s and doctor’s degrees in 1813. Struve married Emilie Wall in 1815; the couple had 12 children, the third of whom (and oldest to survive to adulthood) was the astronomer Otto Wilhelm Struve, who became his father’s successor. After...
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