Simon Marius (January 20, 1573 - December 26, 1624)
Simon Mayr (Latinized Marius) was born in Gunzenhausen, Bavaria, on
January 20, 1573. In 1586, he joined the Margrave of Ansbach's Capella and
school. He was in the capella for three years, and in the school until 1801,
when he was 26 years old.
In the following, he went to Prague to join Tycho Brahe's establishment, and
after Tycho's death, was enrolled in Padua University to study medicine.
In 1605 he return to Ansbach without degree and became Mathematician and
Physician to the new Margraves, Christian and Joachim Ernst, a position he
held for the rest of his life.
Marius died in Ansbach on December 26, 1624.
His earliest astronomical activities include observations of a comet in
1596 and of Kepler's supernova in 1604. In 1608 he learned of telescopes
and started to acquire the skills of producing one (like
Galileo). Apparently, he independently
discovered Jupiter's Moons (despite Galileo's claim of a plagiary, which had
some evidence because it seems that he had already helped Capra in Padua to
plagiate Galileo's note describing the use of compass), and proposed the
names they have since. His credibility is also not enhanced by the fact
that he improved his funds from astrology.
Moreover, Marius found (independently rediscovered) the "Nebula in the
Girdle of Andromeda", actually the Andromeda
Galaxy (M31), on December 15, 1612, and was the first to observe it
with a (very moderate) telescope; he
described it as looking like a "flame seen through horn"
He was not aware that this object had been seen previously by medieval
Persian astronomers, and described by Al Sufi
as early as 964 AD.
Simon Marius was lately honored by the astronomical community by naming a
Lunar crater after him in 1935; Moon crater Marius is at 11.9 N, 50.8 W
and 41 km in diameter. Also, in 1979, a region on Jupiter's moon Ganymed
was named Marius Regio (12.1 N, 199.3 W, 3572 km diameter).
In 2014, asteroid (7984) Marius was named in his honor, discovered on
September 29, 1980 by Czech astronomer Zdenka Vavrova at the
Kiel Observatory, and provisionally designated 1980 SM.
- Simon Mayr (Marius), 1614.
Mundus Jovialis [The World of Jupiter].
English translation e.g. by A.O. Prickard
- Kenneth Glyn Jones, 1968.
The Search for the Nebulae -- II.
Journal of the British Astronomical Association, Vol. 78, No. 5 (1968),
pp. 360-368. Section on Marius: pp. 363-364.
Reprinted in: The Search for the Nebulae. Chalfont St. Giles, 1975.
- Kenneth Glyn Jones, 1991.
Messier's Nebulae and Star Clusters. 2nd ed, Cambridge University Press,
- A.O. Prickard, 1916.
The Mundus Jovialis of Simon Marius.
First Part: The Observatory, Vol. 39, pp. 367-381 (September 1916)
second part: The Observatory, Vol. 39, pp. 403-412 (October 1916)
third part: The Observatory, Vol. 39, pp. 443-452 (November 1916)
fourth part: The Observatory, Vol. 39, pp. 498-503 (November 1916)
- A.O. Prickard, 1917.
Note on "Simon Marius" and "Mundus jovialis."
The Observatory, Vol. 40, pp. 119-122 (March 1917)
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