David Fabricius

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David Fabricius (* 9. March 1564 in Esens (East Frisia); † 7. May 1617 in Osteel) was a theologian, important amateur astronomer and Kartograf. He discovered the variability of the star Mira and was the father of Johann Fabricius, which for the first time published a scientific paper over the sunspots in the year 1611.


David Fabricius was born as a son of a Schmiedes in Esens. Over its childhood and youth much is not well-known. It probably visited the latin schools in the north and in Braunschweig. He noticed later once that Lampadius had introduced him to Braunschweig into the astronomy and mathematics. After conclusion of the school it studied, probably in Helmstedt. After short study it began an office at the age of 20 years as an Evangelist minister in Resterhafe with Dornum .

Of this time to busy it itself intensively with the astronomy. He observed sun, moon, stars, planets, comets and north lights and stepped into exchanges of letters with the large scholars its time, among them Tycho Brahe, Simon Marius and Johannes Kepler. With the latter he exchanged 1601 and 1609 forty letters, in which it concerned hauptächlich the planet Mars between. It undertook numerous journeys and became with important contemporaries admits. When Tycho Brahe was from 1597 to 1599 in Wandsbek, also David Fabricius ranked among his visitors.

At the 3. August 1596 noticed Fabricius as the first the variability of the star Omikron Ceti in the constellation whale. This star changes its brightness during one period of 331 days, whereby it becomes invisible for the naked eye in the maximum clearly visibly, in the minimum against it. Due to this strange behavior it called the star Mira, „the wondrous one “. Mira became the name giver of a whole class of long-periodic variable stars.

Apart from the astronomy Fabricius argued with the meteorology , whereby he registered his Wetterbeobachtung in „a Calendarium “, which is received until today. It examined a possible influence of the Gestirne on the movements of the air circle of the earth.

it manufactured 1589 under the title “never and warhafftige Beschrivinge of the Ostfreslandes” the first East Frisia map printed in East Frisia.

Fabricius rose in the favour its national gentlemen at that time and 1603 after Osteel was shifted.

1611 returned its son Johann (the oldest from seven sons) of the study from the city suffering and brought a telescope also. During the observation of the sun in February 1611 he noticed dark marks. Father and son Fabricius accomplished common observations and could the existence free of doubts record. From the movement marks on the visible sun disk David Fabricius determined the rotation duration of the sun. Although Galileo Galilei in Pisa, Thomas Harriot in London and Christoph Scheiner in Ingolstadt had already noticed in the year 1610 marks on the sun, Johann Fabricius was first, that over it a scientific paper wrote and published.

The end of David Fabricius is somewhat strange and geheimnisumwittert. Thus it is before its death a lecture briefly held, in it maintained a goose and a chicken thief to know, does not want its name however not to abandon. Even provision width unit a Horoskop saw for the 7. May 1617 mischief ahead and Fabricius spent the day in its house. In the evening it wähnte past the danger and it opened itself to a walk. On the way it was killed by a man named Frerick Hoyer with a peat godfather. Hoyer felt obviously exposed as a thief and was guessed/advised over it in anger. Hoyer was gerädert because of its act to death.

Today a monument and a sandstone plaque remind at the church of Osteel of David Fabricius.


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