Auwers, Aurthur

Georg Friedrich Julius Arthur von Auwers (September 12, 1838 ““ January 24, 1915) was a German astronomer born in Göttingen, Germany. He attended the University of Göttingen and worked at the University of Königsberg. Auwers specialized in astrometry, making very precise measurements of stellar positions and motions. He detected the companion stars of Sirius and Procyon from their effects on the main star’s motion, before telescopes were powerful enough to visually observe them.

Auwers became Secretary to the Berlin Academy in 1866, and directed expeditions to measure the transits of Venus, in order to measure the distance from the earth to the
Sun more accurately, and also to be able to more accurately calculate the dimensions of the Solar System. He began a project to unify the all available sky charts, an interest that began in 1862 when he published his catalog of nebulae.

Auwers was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Societyin 1888, the James Craig Watson Medal in 1891, and the Bruce Medal in 1899. The crater Auwers on the Moon is named after him. Auwers died in Berlin in 1915. His son Karl von Auwers became a well known chemist and discoverer of the Auwers synthesis.