Helmut Zimmermann (astronomer)

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Helmut Zimmermann (born January 21, 1926 in Altensalz ; † December 18, 2011 in Jena ) was a German astronomer.

Zimmermann studied mathematics at the University of Jena from 1946 to 1951 and then worked as an assistant at the Jena University Observatory , where he became senior assistant and, in 1979, associate professor of astronomy. 1968 to 1978 he headed the Institute for Astronomy.

He dealt with the astrophysics of interstellar matter, for example the dynamics of interstellar clouds due to collisions and calculations of the radiation energy density in the interstellar medium in the ultraviolet and optical range. To this end, he undertook extensive computer calculations as early as the 1960s. As early as 1961 he held special seminars for computer calculations of the inner star structure.

He also dealt with teacher training, after astronomy had become compulsory subjects at extended secondary schools in the GDR at the end of the 1950s, and from 1978 certified teachers were trained directly in the subject combination of physics and astronomy.

He and Alfred Weigert wrote an astronomy encyclopedia that first appeared in 1960 and has seen many new editions. In 1999 he revised the Interstellar Matter section for Landolt-Börnstein .


  • with Alfred Weigert : Lexikon der Astronomie, Spektrum Akademischer Verlag 1999 (first edition Leipzig and Hanau: Dausien 1960)

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