Article ID: CBB178439079

In memoriam Hilmar Duerbeck (2018)


When Hilmar Duerbeck passed away on January 5, 2012, at age 63, it came as a great shock for his relatives, friends and colleagues. As life partner, friend and internationally recognised astronomer, he was highly estimated by many, and his sudden and totally unexpected death painfully disturbed many close relationships. Plans for joint projects and publications abruptly came to a halt. Relatives and colleagues expressed their condolences in various ways, and shared their reminiscences with others - via email, through internet fora, and by means of webpages. On February 4, 2012, his friends organised a funeral service in the Pfarrkirche in Schalkenmehren. The service was attended by numerous mourners from the village and from further away. The Argelander- Institut für Astronomie in Bonn provided the means to organise a memorial colloquium for astronomer Hilmar W. Duerbeck on March 9, 2013. At this meeting the idea to produce a memorial book was suggested. The memorial book should also recall to memory Waltraut C. Seitter (1930-2007), the wife and colleague of Hilmar Duerbeck, who was Director of the Astronomical Institute in Münster from 1975 to 1995. Their lives and scientific works were inseparably linked together. This book includes four parts. The first part contains general comments on the biographies of Hilmar Duerbeck and Waltraut Seitter. Then follow special presentations on the astronomical workplaces at Hoher List, Münster, Brussels and Chile, as well as a thematic section on works in astronomical historiography. The third part summarises reminiscences. This is followed by papers on themes in which also Hilmar Duerbeck was very much interested. In the first two parts we include texts by Hilmar Duerbeck and by Waltraut Seitter, as well as an essay on the history of Hoher List Observatory that has not been published before. In distinct biographic contributions, and in reminiscences, we moreover present citations from the correspondence with Hilmar Duerbeck that provide a vivid image of his personality. This book will overwhelm the reader by the wide variety of skills of Hilmar Duerbeck. Hardly anyone knew all facets of his personality, therefore the memorial volume certainly reveals many surprises. The versatility and multiplicity of the honoured is also evident from the diversity of the contributing authors, as well geographically as in their professions: besides astronomers, amateur astronomers, physicists and mathematicians, there are also contributions from historians (of science), librarians, engineers, medical doctors, pedagogues and representatives of other professions.

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Authors & Contributors
Dick, Wolfgang R.
Sterken, Christiaan
Daxecker, Franz
Schaffenrath, Florian
Brosche, Peter
Waters, D. W.
Acta Historica Astronomiae
British Journal for the History of Science
Verlag Harri Deutsch
Walker & Company
Historians of science, modern
Duerbeck, Hilmar W.
Seitter, Waltraut C.
Scheiner, Christoph
Zach, Franz Xaver von
Howse, Derek
Brahe, Tycho
Time Periods
20th century, late
21st century
17th century
19th century
20th century
Cracow (Poland)
Brussels (Belgium)
Universität Münster
University of Cambridge (United Kingdom)

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