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Astronomical Journal/Volume 16/Issue 374/Adalbert Krueger

ADALBERT KRUEGER.

Professor Dr. ADALBERT KRUEGER, Editor of the Astronomische Nachrichten, and Director of the Royal Prussian Observatory at Kiel, died there on April 21, an hour before midnight. For some years his health had been delicate, and of late he had sufferent much; but his end was peaceful and calm.

For sixteen years he had conducted the Nachrichten with signal ability; maintaining its high character as a center for astronomical research and information of the highest order, and even raising, whenever possible, its tone of scientific dignity, impartiality and judicious discrimination. By an especial agreement, made in May, 1880, between the Prussian Ministry of Public Instruction, the Council of the Astronomische Gesellschaft, and himself while Directory of the Observatory at Gotha, it was provided that he should be transferred to the Observatory at Kiel, and there assume charge of the Nachrichten, from the beginning of its hundredth volume; - continuing the publication with the scientific support and cooperation of the Council, especially in judgement relative to communications, and the technical questions of editorship, to such extent as he might find desirable in any case. Moreover, Prof. Krueger was charged, on assuming the control, with the duty of obtaining the views of the Council as to the principles, scientific and technical, to be established for guiding his policy.

How admirably Prof. Krueger has filled the important position thus assigned him, is well know to astronomers. He has brought to his task a critical acumen, a judicious tact, and a kindly spirit, - a combination which has result to the advantage of astronomy in many countries.

This is neither the time nor the place to give any detail history of Krueger's career, or any enumeration of his researchers. A few works must suffice at present.

He was born in 1832 at Marienburg in Prussia; and, after pursuing his academic studies, became at the age of 21 year assistant to Argelander in Bonn, who had then been engaged for somewhat more than a year upon the observatories for his Durchmusterung. Schönfeld had become an assistant a few months earlier; and the part in the work accomplished by these two young men proved so important that Argelander insisted upon placing their names, with his own, upon the title-pages of the great work.

The spirit and influence of the master was naturally transfused into the pupils, and their subsequent services to astronomy were largely in the directions to which his guidance had naturally led. More even than any other of his pupils, they followed in the paths in which had been a pioneer, and pursued them with the same zeal and thoroughness of which he had afforded so marked an example.

At Bonn Krueger was also active in the discovery, observation and computation of variable stars. Later, after a happy union, only now interrupted, with the daughter of his principal and teacher, he was appointed to the direction of the Observatory at Helsingfors; and there, in the years 1869 to 1876, he carried on the observations of the zone 55° to 65° for the Catalogue of the Astronomische Gesellschaft; those being completed with the same instrument, between 1877 and 1880, after his removal to Gotha, to which observatory he had meanwhile been appointed. Thence he was transferred to Kiel, to take the direction of the Nachrichten. The A.G. zone undertaken by him was the first completed of the whole series, although the Catalogue itself, from Boss's Zone, may have been finished a little sooner.

Although his life was thus largely occupied with labors upon the Durchmusterung, the Zone and the Catalogue for the Astr. Gesellschaft, and the management of the Astron. Nachrichten, his other services to astronomy were numerous and varied. They comprised researches upon variable starts - determinations of stellar parallax - an elaborate determination of the stars in cluster h Persei, observed with the Bonn heliometer between October 1860 and March 1862, and computed at Helsingfors, where they were published in 1865, - numerous computations of planets, comets, etc. The large proper motion (2?.84 gr.c.) of the star Groombridge 34 was also first detected by him.

He leaves the record of a useful and disinterested life; and is lamented by a large circle of astronomers, to whom his character had justly endeared him.