Friedrich von Hahn

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Reconstructed tower of the Remplin Observatory

Friedrich II. Graf von Hahn (July 27, 1742 – October 9, 1805) was a German nobleman, a philosopher and astronomer. He suggested the Doppler effect before Doppler.[1]

Von Hahn was born in Neuhaus, Holstein. In 1793 he started the construction of a private observatory, the first in Mecklenburg, which was well equipped. He owned some of the largest mirrors made by William Herschel and precision instruments for determining the position of stars. In 1800, he discovered the central star in M57, the Ring Nebula in the constellation Lyra.

He died in Remplin, Mecklenburg. After his death, his son, the "theatrical count" and father of author Ida, Countess von Hahn-Hahn, squandered his fortune and all books and instruments were sold. The best instruments were bought by Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel for the new observatory in Königsberg. One instrument is on display in the Deutsches Museum in Munich. His herschelian telescope was acquired in 1812 by the Neapolitan astronomer, Federigo Zuccari, for the new Capodimonte Observatory [2]. Now the mirror of this telescope is part of the Observatory Museum collection.

He is honoured together with Otto Hahn by the lunar crater Hahn.


  1. ^ Hockey, Thomas (2009). The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers. Springer Publishing. ISBN 978-0-387-31022-0. Retrieved August 22, 2012.
  2. ^ Gargano, Mauro (2012). "The development of astronomy in Naples: the tale of two large telescopes made by William Herschel" (PDF). Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage. 15 (1): 30–41. ISSN 1440-2807.

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