June 23, 1901|
|Died||May 13, 1983
|Notable awards||James Craig Watson Medal in 1961
Bruce Medal in 1964
Otto Hermann Leopold Heckmann (June 23, 1901 – May 13, 1983) was a German astronomer.
He directed the Hamburg Observatory from 1941 to 1962, after which he became the first director of the European Southern Observatory. He actively contributed to the creation of the third issue of the Astronomische Gesellschaft Katalog. He also contributed to cosmology based on the fundamentals of general relativity, and wrote the book Theorien der Kosmologie.
In 1933 Heckmann signed the Loyalty Oath of German Professors to Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist State. He also joined the Nazi Party.
Heckmann also served as President of the International Astronomical Union in 1967, and following a Polish request and under the impression of German acts in Poland during World War II, made the controversial decision to hold an Extraordinary IAU General Assembly in February 1973 in Warsaw, Poland, to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Nicolaus Copernicus, shortly after the regular 1973 GA was held in Australia.
- Theorien der Kosmologie. Berlin: Springer, 1942 und 1968
- Sterne, Kosmos, Weltmodelle. München: Piper, 1976 (auch dtv-Taschenbuch)
- Bruce Medal page
- Awarding of the Bruce Medal: PASP 76 (1964) 135
- Heckmann, Otto Hermann Leopold. From Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography, 2008.