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Karl Theodor Robert Luther (April 16, 1822, Świdnica – February 15, 1900 Düsseldorf), normally published as Robert Luther, was a German astronomer. While working at the Bilk Observatory in Düsseldorf, Germany, he searched for asteroids and discovered 24 of them between 1852 and 1890.[1][2] Seven times Lalande Prize winner.

Hermann Goldschmidt
Born(1822-04-16)April 16, 1822
Świdnica, Poland
DiedFebruary 15, 1900(1900-02-15) (aged 77)
Düsseldorf, Germany
Known fordiscovery of 24 asteroids
AwardsLalande Prize (1852, 1853, 1854, 1855, 1859, 1860 and 1861)
Scientific career
Academic advisorsJohann Franz Encke
Royal Medal to commemorate the 100th Asteroid, showing Astronomers John Russel Hind, Hermann Goldschmidt and Robert Luther, 1869

Contents

BiographyEdit

Karl Theodor Robert Luther was born on April 16, 1822 to August Luther and Wilhelmine von Ende. He was home schooled and studied in the local high school. In 1841, he moved to Breslau where he studied until 1843.[3]

In 1843 Luther moved to Berlin to study astronomy. He was a student of Johann Franz Encke and helped him in his astronomical calculations and creating the astronomical almanac. In 1850 he became a second observer. In 1851, Franz Brünnow invited Luther to the Düsseldorf-Bilk Observatory to become a director of the observatory after him. [3]

Luther married Caroline (nee Marker) and they had one son, William. Luther died in 1900 after a short illness in Düsseldorf. [3]

DiscoveriesEdit

Luther discovered 24 of them between 1852 and 1890.[1][2]

Two of his discoveries are now known to have unusual properties: 90 Antiope, a binary asteroid with equal components, and the extremely slow-rotating 288 Glauke.

Asteroids discovered: 24[1]
17 Thetis April 17, 1852
26 Proserpina May 5, 1853
28 Bellona March 1, 1854
35 Leukothea April 19, 1855
37 Fides October 5, 1855
47 Aglaja September 15, 1857
50 Virginia[1] October 19, 1857
53 Kalypso April 4, 1858
57 Mnemosyne September 22, 1859
58 Concordia March 24, 1860
68 Leto April 29, 1861
71 Niobe August 13, 1861
78 Diana March 15, 1863
82 Alkmene November 27, 1864
84 Klio August 25, 1865
90 Antiope October 1, 1866
95 Arethusa November 23, 1867
108 Hecuba April 2, 1869
113 Amalthea March 12, 1871
118 Peitho March 15, 1872
134 Sophrosyne September 27, 1873
241 Germania September 12, 1884
247 Eukrate March 14, 1885
258 Tyche May 4, 1886
288 Glauke February 20, 1890
1 discovered independently 15 days after James Ferguson,
but reported first

Honors and awardsEdit

The asteroid 1303 Luthera and the lunar crater Luther were named in his honour.[2][4]

He was awarded the Lalande Prize seven times, in 1852, 1853, 1854, 1855, 1859, 1860 and 1861.

Royal Astronomical Society Fellow since June 1854.[5]

In 1869, a commemorative medal honoring the discovery of the 100th asteroid shows the profiles of John Russel Hind, Hermann Goldschmidt and Robert Luther.[6]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Minor Planet Discoverers (by number)". Minor Planet Center. 28 December 2015. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). "(1303) Luthera". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (1303) Luthera. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 107. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_1304. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3.
  3. ^ a b c Plicht C.A. (2014). Luther, Karl Theodor Robert. In: Hockey T. et al. (eds) Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers. Springer, New York, NY.
  4. ^ "Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature – Planetary Names: Crater, craters: Luther on Moon". International Astronomical Union (IAU) Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN). Retrieved 23 March 2016.
  5. ^ Royal Astronomical Society (1899). "List of the Fellows of the Royal Astronomical Society". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Spottiswoode & Company., digitized=13 Jul 2010
  6. ^ "Mr. Bishop's Observatory". The Illustrated London News. 55: 368,372. October 9, 1869.