Friday, January 30, 2009

January 30: Rudolf König

Krieger's Mond-Atlas, published by König

Rudolf König
August 18, 1865 – January 30, 1927

Rudolf König was an Austrian merchant, amateur astronomer and selenographer. He was born in Vienna and received his technical education in Leipzig. After graduation he went into his father's business. As he had an interest in astronomy, in 1906 he built a private observatory in Vienna. From this observatory he carried out many observations of the Moon. His primary telescope was a Carl Zeiss 21-cm reflector in a massive equatorial mount designed for astrophotography.

König was interested in lunar mapping studies and was the editor of the second part of J. N. Krieger's Mond-Atlas (1898-1912). In 1912 he published a volume of illustrations of the Moon made by his then deceased friend. He also made extensive observations of comets and star clusters and determined the exact position of 8,000 astronomical objects.

After his death his widow sold his telescope to the Czech Astronomical Society "for the establishment of an observatory." The instrument is now operated by the Prague ObservatoryKönig's extensive technical library and other astronomical equipment went to the University Observatory of Vienna. His 6-meter wide private observatory dome still exists today, but is no longer used for observations.

The Lunar crater König is named in his honor.

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