Maria Winkelmann Kirch

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Maria Winkelmann Kirch

Marie Winkelmann Kirch

German Astrologer

Time Line



Scientific Discoveries:- Discovered her own comet in 1702 (first woman)- Observations of Aurora Borealis- 1707- Observed conjuctions of the Sun with Saturn and Venus in 1709.

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Relationship to Church/Secular Authorities:- Lutheran - Worked in Baron von Krosigk's observatory (1712-1714)-Gottfried Kirch (husband) became Royal Astronomer- Son was later appointed as Royal Astronomer at Berlin Observatory.

Bibliography:"Introduction." The Life of Maria M. Winkelmann Kirch. N.p., n.d. Web. "Maria Winkelmann Kirch (1670 -1720)." She Is an Astronomer. N.p., n.d. Web. "Maria Margarethe Winckelmann Kirch." History.mcs. N.p., n.d. Web.Schiebinger, Londa. "Maria Winkellmann at the Berlin Academy." Chicago Journals 78.2 (1987): n. pag. JSTOR. Web. 15 Nov. 2013. .

Early Life/ Nationality: - German astronomer- Taught by her father and uncle- Married Gottfried Kirch, a famous astronomer and Mathematician


discovery of a comet


publish book



at the observatory


Accomplishments:- Published works in German - Worked on calculations with her husband- Produced calendars with astronomical calculations

How the scientist uses the scientific method:- Used her expertise to make observations of the Aurora Borealis in 1707, and the conjunction of the Sun with Saturn and Venus in 1709

Effects of her Discoveries on European Society:-her discovery encouraged many women astrologers during the enlightenment era.-Her discovery of the comet geve people reason to believe women have potential as astrologers.-opened a path for women to take higher positions in scientific fields

Book Titles:- Die Vorbereitung zug grossen Opposition in 1711.- Von der Conjunction der Sonne des Saturni und der Venus

Primary Sources:- Dietrich Wattenberg, Neue deutsche Biographie 11, 364b-5a.- Guenther, Allgemeine deutsche Biographie 15, 788.-P. Aufgebauer, "Die Astronomenfamilie Kirch," Die Sterne, 47 (1971), 241-7.- "Maria Winkelmann at the Berlin Academy: A Turning Point for Women in Science". Isis, Journal of the History of Science Society, 78 (292): pp. 174–200.

Quotes:Husband of Maria Winkelmann, 1680 :"Some nights before, I had observed a variable star, and my wife (as I slept) wanted to find and see it for herself. In so doing, she found a comet in the sky."- Alphonse des Vignoles:"Madame Kirch prepared horoscopes at the request of her friends, but always against her will and in order not to be unkind to her patrons."[


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