The Wilhelm Beer Biography shows what a man can do with his hobby
The Wilhelm Beer Biography may be brief, but his contributions to astronomy were very significant. Beer was born in Germany on January 4, 1777 and died on March 27, 1850. Wilhelm Wolff Beer was a banker and the brother of composer Giacomo Meyerbeer.
Wilhelm Beer’s hobby was amateur astronomy. Beer built a private observatory with a 9.5 cm refractor. Beer along with Johann Heinrick Madler made the first exact map of the moon. A few years later they also wrote about the surface of the moon. Both of these showed the moon to be very different from earth and uninhabited.
During this time Wilhelm Beer and Johann Madler also made the first globe of Mars. They later went on to make a map of Mars and also calculated its rotation to be 24 hours 37 minutes 22.7 seconds long. This was within .01 second of what is known today.
In addition to this Beer helped with the first railway in Prussia and in his later years became a write and a politician.
So the next time someone says it’s just a hobby, think back to the Wilhelm Beer Biography. You just might be the next person to make a big discovery.
Things named for Beer
Beer crater, Mars Beer crater, the Moon Asteroid 1896 Beer
Return to the Astronomy For Kids Online homepage from this Wilhelm Beer Biography page.