Goldschmidt, Hermann

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GOLDSCHMIDT, HERMANN

GOLDSCHMIDT, HERMANN (1802–1866), French astronomer and artist. Born in Frankfurt, Goldschmidt studied painting in Munich and in 1836 settled in Paris where he became eminent as a vivid painter of historical events and portraits. In spite of his great artistic activity, astronomy became his hobby and love. An enthusiastic observer of the sky, Goldschmidt worked with simple devices and modest optical instruments. In the nine years between 1852 and 1861 he discovered 14 asteroids (or minor planets as these were then called). He also observed variable stars, double stars, comets, nebulae, and in 1860, in Spain, a total solar eclipse; his report was accompanied by three impressive oil paintings. In 1857 he received the Cross of the Legion of Honor and in 1861 the Royal Astronomical Society in London awarded him its Gold Medal.

[Arthur Beer]

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