A Female Astronomer in Gdańsk (NL Embassy in PL)

Elisabeth Hevelius (1647-1693), who lived and worked in Gdańsk, is considered one of the first female astronomers. She was the daughter of Nicolaas Koopman and Johanna Mennings, who had married in Amsterdam and later settled in Gdańsk. When she was but sixteen years old, Elisabeth married the fifty-two-year-old scientist and beer brewer Johannes Hevelius. The pair shared a passion for star gazing and astronomy. They had a large and famous observatory in Gdańsk, where they studied the night’s sky. They also had four children. Elisabeth knew Latin and corresponded with various scientists. After Johannes’ death, Elisabeth continued their work. In 1690, with the financial aid of King Jan III Sobieski, she published Prodromus Astronomiae, a catalogue of 1.564 stars and their positions. The image is taken from a book from 1673, and it shows Elisabeth and Johannes at work in their observatory.

*I originally wrote this post for the social media outlets of the Dutch Embassy in Poland. This was post no. 8.

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