Monday, January 16, 2012

Johann Heinrich von Mädler Biography

Orphaned at the age of 19, Johann Heinrich von Mädler was forced to raise his three younger siblings by becoming a private tutor. This allowed him to connect with the businessman William Beer, who would later give Mädler a job at his observatory in 1829. In 1930 Mädler began drawing surface maps of Mars. For the prime meridian of their map, he eventually chose the Sinus Meridiani formation. Using his maps and drawings of Mars, and his knowledge of math, Mädler was able to make a rough calculation of Mar's rotational period to within 13 seconds of the actual period of rotation.B&M-LacusMortis.jpg
Johann Heinrich von Mädler was also one of the first people to make an accurate surface map of the moon, which he published with descriptions in four volumes from 1834 to 1836. His singular efforts to map these celestial bodies should not go forgotten in the sands of time, as he was one of the most important astronomers of the 19th century, not only because of the maps he drew, but because of the accuracy of his calculations of the orbital period of Mars.

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