Oswald Thomas (July 27, 1882 - February 7, 1963)
Oswald Thomas was born in Kronstadt (Siebenbuergen; now Brasov, Romania)
on July 27, 1882.
After getting school educatiomn in Kronstadt, he studied astronomy, math and
physics in Heidelberg and Jena, and returned to Kronstadt in 1906 as a
professional astronomer. He founded the
(Astronomical Bureau) in Kronstadt in 1907. He came to Vienna in 1913
and took the Astronomical Bureau with him, became Director of the Urania
Observatory in Vienna 1915-1922, founded the "Österreichischer
Astronomischer Verein" in 1924, and set up the Planetarium in the Vienna
Prater area in 1927.
He died in Bonn, Germany on February 7, 1963.
Oswald Thomas is commemorated by the Oswald-Thomas-Platz in Vienna, now the
address of the Vienna Zeiss Planetarium.
In his 1934 book, Astronomie (Thomas 1934),
he identified the missing Messier object
M48 with NGC 2548, an identification which is
now generally recognized, after T.F. Morris of RASC
independently repeated it in 1959. Several historians have confused this
identification of M48 with a presumed one of equally missing
M47, but for this object, he has NGC 2478, the
NGC number for Messier's wrong position, going back to John Herschel.
The relavant lines in his book read (translated from German):
M-No. RA and Dec NGC-No. Constellation Object
47 (7.50-15) 2478 Ship Argo Cluster
48 (8.09-06) 2548 Hydra Open Cluster
Brief data on Oswald Thomas from Project AEIOU
Oswald Thomas: Atlas der Sternbilder (1945) -
Felice Stoppa's Atlas Coelestis
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