Johann Nepomuk Krieger

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Johann Nepomuk Krieger (4 February 1865, Unterwiesenbach – 10 February 1902, Sanremo) was a draftsman and selenographer. The crater Krieger on the Moon is named in his honor.

Krieger was born in the Kingdom of Bavaria, the son of a master brewer. At an early age he gained an interest in astronomy. He only received school education up to the age of 15, when he departed. However he gained an inheritance, and used the money to build an observatory in the suburbs of Munich. He had been inspired by the director of the Cologne Observatory, Hermann Klein,[1] to make the study and observation of the Moon his life's work.

Krieger decided to create a definitive map of the Moon. For this purpose he obtained a series of low-resolution negatives of the lunar surface that had been taken at the Lick and Paris observatories. He enlarged these images and used them to provide positional accuracy for his subsequent drawings. His illustrations of the Moon were made in charcoal, graphite pencil, and ink, and were considered superior to any previously produced lunar maps in their accuracy and level of detail, and continue to be considered works of art.

He lived long enough to see his first 28 plates published as volume 1 of his "Mond Atlas". However his health had suffered, possibly due to his long nightly labors at his telescope. About 10 years following his death, his remaining drawings and sketches were published in a second volume by the Austrian selenographer Rudolf König.

His wife was named Pia, and her name was given to Krieger's Piu Observatory in Trieste, Italy. The asteroid 614 Pia is thought to have been named for this observatory, and hence for her.


  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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