Hermann Carl Vogel

Hermann Carl Vogel


Date of Birth
April 3, 1841
Date of Death
August 13, 1907

Hermann Vogel studied astronomy at the Universities of Leipzig and Jena and then directed a private observatory for four years. He joined the staff of the Potsdam Astrophysical Observatory even before it opened in 1876, and served as its director from 1882 to 1907. Vogel made spectroscopic analyses of stars, planets, comets, and the sun. He was the first to demonstrate the sun’s rotation by measuring Doppler shifts of its receding and approaching limbs. He made detailed tables of the solar spectrum and attempted spectral classification of stars. Vogel’s most important work was photographic measurement of Doppler shifts to determine radial velocities of stars. He discovered one of the first spectroscopic binaries, and, with Julius Scheiner, made the first spectroscopic determination of stellar diameters and masses. He oversaw the design and construction of the Great Potsdam Refractor.

Presentation of Bruce medal

Townley, Sidney D., PASP 18, 101-110 (1906).

Other awards

Government of Germany, Order Pour le Mérite for Arts and Sciences, 1895
National Academy of Sciences, Henry Draper Medal, 1893.
French Academy of Sciences, Valz Prize, 1891.
Royal Astronomical Society, Gold medal, 1893.

Biographical materials

Bitterman, Jay, Lake County Astronomical Society
Hughes, Stefan, 'Catcher': The History of Astrophotography Blog, 21 July 2012
Tenn, Joseph S., Mercury  19, 6, 172 (1990).
Wolfschmidt, G., “Hermann Carl Vogel as a Pioneer of Astrophysics,” Astron. Gesellschaft Abstract Ser. 9, 85 (1993).


C[hant], C.A., JRASC 1, 360-61 (1907).
F[owler], A[lfred], MNRAS 68, 254-57 (1908).
Frost, Edwin B., Ap.J. 27, 1-11 (1908).
Leuschner, A.O., PASP 19, 238 (1907).
Lohse, O., Astr. Nach. 175, 373/4-377/8 (1907).
Macpherson, Hector, Popular Astronomy 15, 453-56 (1907).


AIP Center for History of Physics
Steinicke, Wolfgang

Named after him

Lunar crater Vogel
Martian crater Vogel
Minor Planet #11762 Vogel


Other References: Historical

Search ADS for works about Vogel

Brunner, W., Pioniere der Weltallforschung (Stuttgart, ca. 1954)

Gußmann, Ernst-August, Gerhard Scholz, & Wolfgang R. Dick, eds., Der Große Refraktor auf dem Potsdamer Telegrafenberg Vorträge zu seinem 100 jährigen Bestehen [The Great Refractor at the Telegrafenberg in Potsdam. Papers on occasion of its 100th anniversary], Acta Historica Astronomiae, v. 11 (Thun, Frankfurt am Main, 2000). This volume, which is in German, contains Vogel’s report on a tour to England, Scotland and Ireland in the year 1875, when he was working on the design of the Astrophysical Observatory at Potsdam

Hearnshaw, J. B., The Analysis of Starlight (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 1986)

Hearnshaw, J. B., “Doppler and Vogel – Two Notable Anniversaries in Stellar Astronomy,” Vistas in Astronomy 35, 157-77 (1992).

Herrmann, D.B., “Für Vorgeschichte der Astrophysikalischen Observatoriums Potsdam,” Astron. Nach. 296, 245-59 (1975).

Herrmann, D.B., Geschichte der Astronomie von Herschel bis Hertzsprung (trans. K. Krisciunas, The History of Astronomy from Herschel to Hertzsprung, Cambridge University Press, 1984).

Wilhelm-Foerster-Observatory, “A Brief History of Astronomy in Berlin and the Wilhelm-Foerster-Observatory”.


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Other References: Scientific

Search ADS for works by Vogel

Vogel, Hermann Carl, Beobachtungen von Nebelflecken und Sternhaufen am 6-fuessigen Refractor und 12-fuessigen Aequatoreal; Zusammenstellung der mittleren Oerter der Vergleichsterne (W. Englemann, Leipzig, 1867).

Vogel, Hermann Carl & Oswald Lohse, Beobachtungen angestellt auf der Sternwarte des Kammerherrn von Bülow zu Bothkamp,3 vols., (W. Engelmann, Leipsig, 1872-75).

Vogel, Hermann Carl, “Spectralphotometrische Untersuchungen insbesonderre zur Bestimmung der Absorption der die Sonne umgebenden Gashulle,” Monatsbericht No. 3, 136-211 (1879).

Vogel, Hermann Carl, “Untersuchungen uber das Sonnenspectrum,” Publicationen des Astrophysikalischen Observatoriums zu Potsdam No. 3 (1879).

Müller, Gustav, Paul Kempf, & Hermann Carl Vogel, “Bestimmung der Wellenlaengen von 300 Linien im Sonnenspektrum,” Publicationen des Astrophysikalischen Observatoriums zu Potsdam No. 20 (1886).

Huggins, W., M.L. Huggins, M. Wolf, H.C. Vogel, E.C. Pickering, R. Schumacher, L. Arndt, & J. Plassmann, “Ueber den neuen stern in Auriga,” Astronomische Nachrichten 129, 107-16 (1892).

Vogel, H.C., “On the New Star in Auriga,” Astron. & Astrophys. 12, 896-913 (1893).[translation from Abh. Konig. Pruss. Akad. Wissensch.]

Vogel, H.C., “On the Occurance in Stellar Spectra of the Lines of Clèveite Gas, and on the Classification of Stars of the First Spectral Type,” Ap.J. 2, 333-46 (1895)

Vogel, H.C., “The Absorption of Light as a Determining Factor in the Selection of the Size of the Objective for the Great Refractor of the Potsdam Observatory,” Ap.J. 5, 75-91 (1897).

Vogel, Hermann Carl, “Untersuchungen uber die Spectra von 528 Sternen,” Publicationen des Astrophysikalischen Observatoriums zu Potsdam No. 39 (1898).

Vogel, H.C., “On the Progress Made in the Last Decade in the Determination of Stellar Motions in the Line of Sight,” Ap.J. 11, 373 (1900) and 12, 223 (1900).

Vogel, H.C., “On the spectrum of Nova Persei,” Ap.J. 13, 217-22 (1901).

Vogel, Hermann Carl, “Die zwei Doppelrefraktoren des observatoriums,” Publikationen des Astrophysikalischen Observatoriums zu Potsdam 15, 1-59 (1907).