The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Bruhns, Karl Christian

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BRUHNS, bröns, Karl Christian, German astronomer: b. Plön, Holstein, 22 Nov. 1830; d. Leipzig, 25 July 1881. He was the son of a locksmith; going in 1851 as locksmith and mechanic to Borsig, and then to Berlin with Siemens and Halske, he attracted the attention of Encke by his remarkable powers as a computer, and was appointed in 1852 as assistant, and in 1854 as observer, in the Berlin Observatory, and in 1859 as instructor in the university. In 1860 he was called to Leipzig as professor of astronomy and director of the new observatory to be constructed there, which, under his skilful direction, grew into one of the finest structures of its kind in Europe. He is known as the discoverer of five comets, an able computer of cometary and planetary orbits, and for his important work in geodesy in connection with the European triangulation.