Struve , Friedrich Georg Wilhelm von
(1793–1864) German–Russian astronomer
Struve, who was born at Altona in Germany, moved to Dorpat in Latvia in 1808 in order to escape conscription into the Napoleonic army then in control of Germany. He took a degree in philology in 1811 before becoming professor of astronomy and mathematics in Dorpat in 1813. In 1817 he became director of the Dorpat Observatory, which he equipped with a 9.5-inch (24-cm) refractor that he used in a massive survey of binary stars from the north celestial pole to 15°S. He measured 3112 binaries – discovering well over 2000 – and cataloged his results inStellarum Duplicium Mensurae Micrometricae (1837; Micrometric Measurements of Double Stars).
In 1835 Czar Nicholas I persuaded Struve to set up a new observatory at Pulkovo, near St. Petersburg. There in 1840 Struve became, with Friedrich Bessel and Thomas Henderson, one of the first astronomers to detect parallax. He chose Vega, a bright star with a larger-than-normal proper motion and soon established a parallactic measurement (that was, however, too high).
Struve founded a dynasty of astronomers that is still in existence. He was succeeded by his son Otto at Pulkovo, his grandson Hermann became director of the Berlin Observatory, and his great-grandson, Otto Struve, became director of the Yerkes Observatory in Wisconsin.

Scientists. . 2011.

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