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

Struve, Friedrich Georg Wilhelm

Reference work entry

Alternate Name

 Struve, Vasily Yakovlevich

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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Selected References

  1. Batten, Alan H. (1988). Resolute and Undertaking Characters: The Lives of Wilhelm and Otto Struve. Dordrecht: D. Reidel.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Hirshfeld, Alan W. (2001). Parallax: The Race to Measure the Cosmos. New York: W. H. Freeman.Google Scholar
  3. Pritchard, C. (1865). “Friedrich Georg Wilhelm Struve.” Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 25: 83–98.Google Scholar
  4. Sokolovskaya, Z. K. (1976). “Struve, Friedrich Georg Wilhelm.” In Dictionary of Scientific Biography, edited by Charles Coulston Gillispie. Vol. 13, pp. 108–113. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Research CouncilOttawaCanada