The Old Observatory

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Mannheim’s observatory dates back to the 18th century and one of the most important scientists of the period: Jesuit priest Christian Mayer. From 1752 he occupied one of the first chairs for experimental physics and astronomy at the University of Heidelberg. And he was university rector several times. In 1763 he was appointed royal astronomer. Mayer enjoyed great respect among the scholars of Europe. His work on binary stars was trail-blazing. He participated in some of the biggest scientific projects of the 18th century, for example the creation of the the first international meteorological network. Christian Mayer was heavily in demand in other areas. He drew up a concept to improve Mannheim’s water supplies and he was the first person to create geographically precise maps of the region, the Electoral Palatinate. He was even employed by the St Petersburg Academy of Sciences, coming up with a scheme to map the Russian Empire precisely and inexpensively...


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