Paul Oswald Ahnert

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Paul Oswald Ahnert (22 November 1897 27 February 1989) was a German astronomer. He first became famous in Germany for publishing the "Kalender für Sternfreunde" from 1948 until 1988, an annual calendar of astronomical events. The minor planet 3181 Ahnert is named in his honor. [1]

Astronomer Scientist who studies celestial bodies

An astronomer is a scientist in the field of astronomy who focuses their studies on a specific question or field outside the scope of Earth. They observe astronomical objects such as stars, planets, moons, comets, and galaxies – in either observational or theoretical astronomy. Examples of topics or fields astronomers study include planetary science, solar astronomy, the origin or evolution of stars, or the formation of galaxies. Related but distinct subjects like physical cosmology, which studies the Universe as a whole.

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, and the Alps, Lake Constance and the High Rhine to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

3181 Ahnert, provisional designation 1964 EC, is a stony Flora asteroid from the inner regions of the asteroid belt, about 8 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered by German astronomer Freimut Börngen at the Karl Schwarzschild Observatory in Tautenburg, eastern Germany, on 8 March 1964.

Ahnert was born in Chemnitz, Kingdom of Saxony. During the First World War he served as an ordinary German field-soldier. After the war he became a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) and was a committed opponent of the rise of militarism and right wing revanchism in Germany. Between 1919 and 1933 he worked as an elementary school teacher. In addition to this he was an ambitious amateur astronomer and in 1923 his first article was published in the scientific journal Astronomische Nachrichten (AN 219 (1923), 165170). He reported about long period variables he had observed from his private observatory.

Chemnitz Place in Saxony, Germany

Chemnitz, known from 1953 to 1990 as Karl-Marx-Stadt, is the third-largest city in the Free State of Saxony, Germany. Chemnitz is an independent city which is not part of any county and seat of the Landesdirektion Sachsen. Located in the northern foothills of the Ore Mountains, it is part of the Central German Metropolitan Region. The city's economy is based on the service sector and manufacturing industry. Chemnitz University of Technology has around 10,000 students.

Kingdom of Saxony former German state

The Kingdom of Saxony, lasting between 1806 and 1918, was an independent member of a number of historical confederacies in Napoleonic through post-Napoleonic Germany. The kingdom was formed from the Electorate of Saxony. From 1871 it was part of the German Empire. It became a Free state in the era of Weimar Republic in 1918 after the end of World War I and the abdication of King Frederick Augustus III of Saxony. Its capital was the city of Dresden, and its modern successor state is the Free State of Saxony.

World War I 1914–1918 global war originating in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

When Adolf Hitler became Chancellor in 1933 the Nazi regime removed Paul Ahnert from his post. He was arrested and imprisoned for a few months in a concentration camp. Released from imprisonment he had to earn his living by doing occasional jobs. But in 1938 he had a lucky escape for his real profession. Cuno Hoffmeister invited him to the Sonneberg Observatory, where he worked during the Second World War as a computer (performing calculations) and assistant observer in a long term sky patrol and field survey program.

Adolf Hitler Leader of Germany from 1934 to 1945

Adolf Hitler was a German politician and leader of the Nazi Party. He rose to power as Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and later Führer in 1934. During his dictatorship from 1933 to 1945, he initiated World War II in Europe by invading Poland in September 1939. He was closely involved in military operations throughout the war and was central to the perpetration of the Holocaust.

Chancellor is a title of various official positions in the governments of many nations. The original chancellors were the cancellarii of Roman courts of justice—ushers, who sat at the cancelli or lattice work screens of a basilica or law court, which separated the judge and counsel from the audience. A chancellor's office is called a chancellery or chancery. The word is now used in the titles of many various officers in all kinds of settings. Nowadays the term is most often used to describe:

Nazi concentration camps concentration camp operated by Nazi Germany

Nazi Germany maintained concentration camps throughout the territories it controlled before and during the Second World War. The first Nazi camps were erected in Germany in March 1933 immediately after Hitler became Chancellor and his Nazi Party was given control of the police by Reich Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick and Prussian Acting Interior Minister Hermann Göring. Used to hold and torture political opponents and union organizers, the camps initially held around 45,000 prisoners. In 1933–1939, before the onset of war, most prisoners consisted of German Communists, Socialists, Social Democrats, Roma, Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals, and persons accused of 'asocial' or socially 'deviant' behavior by the Germans.

After the war he met the astronomer Eva Rohlfs at Sonneberg Observatory and married her in 1952. His second marriage lasted only two years, because Eva died in 1954 in age of 41. During the 1950s Paul Ahnert advanced from an assistant observer to an astronomer with international reputation, who made important observations of variable stars and solar activity.

Eva Ahnert-Rohlfs was a German astronomer. She made important observations of variable stars.

He received an honorary doctor in astrophysics at the University of Jena in 1957. His name became well known in Germany, when he started to edit the "Kalender für Sternfreunde", an annual calendar of astronomical events. The first volume was printed in 1949. Paul Ahnert edited it for over 40 years until he retired from this task, aged 90, and passed the work to younger hands. Paul Ahnert died in age of 91 in Sonneberg (Free State Thuringia).

University of Jena university located in Jena, Thuringia, Germany

Friedrich Schiller University Jena is a public research university located in Jena, Thuringia, Germany.

Sonneberg Place in Thuringia, Germany

Sonneberg is a town in Thuringia, Germany, which is seat of the district Sonneberg. It has long been a centre of toy making and is still well known for this. It is the home of PIKO, a model railway manufacturer which became one of the few such enterprises in the Warsaw Pact countries and as such supplied model trains depicting railway stock of all the Soviet bloc countries. Sonneberg is home to the German Toy Museum.

Thuringia State in Germany

Thuringia, officially the Free State of Thuringia, is a state of Germany.


Cuno Hoffmeister German astronomer

Cuno Hoffmeister was a German astronomer, observer and discoverer of variable stars, comets and minor planets, and founder of Sonneberg Observatory.

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

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  1. Schmadel, Lutz D. (2003). "(3181) Ahnert". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (3181) Ahnert. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 264. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_3182. ISBN   978-3-540-29925-7.