Cuno Hoffmeister

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Cuno Hoffmeister
Cuno Hoffmeister.jpg
Born (1892-02-02)2 February 1892
Died 2 January 1968(1968-01-02) (aged 75)
Residence Germany
Nationality German
Fields Astronomy
Institutions Sonneberg Observatory, Remeis Observatory
Alma mater University of Jena
Known for Variable stars

Cuno Hoffmeister (2 February 1892 – 2 January 1968) was a German astronomer and founder of Sonneberg Observatory.

Born in Sonneberg in 1892 to Carl and Marie Hoffmeister,[1] Cuno Hoffmeister obtained his first telescope in 1905 and became an avid amateur astronomer. After his father lost most of his money in 1914, Hoffmeister had to leave school in 1916 to start an apprenticeship in his father's company. During this time he continued to study spherical mathematics and trigonometry. In April 1915 Hoffmeister had the opportunity to substitute as the assistant of Ernst Hartwig at Remeis Observatory in Bamberg while the current holder of the position was drafted, mainly working on observations of meteors and variable stars. He held this position until the end of the war and then moved back to Sonneberg, where he made his Abitur in 1920. After studying at the University of Jena, while at the same time continuing to work in his job as a tradesman, Hoffmeister obtained his doctorate in 1927. During this time he had already started building what was to become Sonneberg Observatory. After his PhD, Hoffmeister moved back to Sonneberg and started expanding the observatory. Hoffmeister remained at the observatory until his death, even though the observatory lost most of its equipment after the second world war and he was disowned as the observatory became part of East Germany's academy of sciences. Hoffmeister served as the director of the observatory until his death. During his life Hoffmeister played a leading role in supporting amateurs in observations of noctilucent clouds, aurorae, and nightglow. Wilfried Schröder has described his role in a paper in "Sitzungsberichte der Leibniz Sozietät für Wissenschaft" in 2009.

During his active life as an astronomer, Hoffmeister discovered approximately 10,000 variable stars and several asteroids on the more than 100000 photographic plates taken at Sonneberg Observatory. He also co-discovered comet C/1959 O1. The crater Hoffmeister on the Moon is named after him, as are the asteroids 1726 Hoffmeister and 4183 Cuno.


  1. ^ Hockey, Thomas (2009). The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers. Springer Publishing. ISBN 978-0-387-31022-0. Retrieved August 22, 2012. 

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