Maximilián Hell


Astronóm, matematik, fyzik.

  • 15.5.1720, Štiavnické Bane, okr. Žiar nad Hronom
    † 14.4.1792, Viedeň (Rakúsko)


He was born on 15th May 1720 in Štiavnicke Bane. He studied at primary school in his birthtown, secondary studies were at the college in Banská Bystrica. After finishing his secondary education he applied for acceptance to jezuite order. In 1738 he started his two-year novicement in Trenčín. In autumn of 1740 he went to Vienna for studying history, theology and philosophy. In 1745 he came to Levoca, where he worked as a profesor at the jezuit’s grammar school. In 1755 he became a director of Kingdom’s observatory in Vienna, where he was working until his death. He made a personal effort to build observatories in Trnava, Kluža, Budín and Jágr. He participated in the expedition to the Arctic Circle to the Danish island called Vardö to observe the transfer of Venus in front of the solar disc. This expedition brought him an appreciation in the world of science for exact enumeration of solar parallax. His result was 8.82', nowadays the result is 8,79415'. He published astronomical yearbook Ephemerides Astronomicae ad meridianum Vindobonensem (1757 – 1792 ). His research about polar radiance and magnetic field round the Earth was significiant. Apart from the research in this field, he published 26 scientific studies. He was a member of a lot of scientific societies in Paris, Stockholm, Bologn, Kodan, Göttingen, Trondtheim and London. He also collaborated with English Royal Society and in 1790 he was given a Cross of English government. His name was also given to one of the craters on the Moon. In 1970 UNESCO added the 250th anniversary of

his birth into a calendar of eminent people.

He died on the 14th of April in Vienna and his grave is in Maria Enzersdof.


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