April 11, 1875 – Samuel Heinrich Schwabe died in Dessau, Germany, the same city he was born in October 25, 1789. Schwabe was a pharmacist, following his father’s footsteps. He was interested in astronomy and botany and was able to find time to pursue these hobbies. He won his first telescope in a lottery and purchased a better one a year later, in 1826. By 1829, he had sold the pharmacy and was devoting his time to his astronomical pursuits.
He was trying to find another planet between Mercury and the Sun, but by the time he’d been observing the Sun for 17 years, he’d noticed a pattern in the number of sunspots – they had a 10 to 11 year cycle. He published these findings in the Journal Astronomische Nachrichten, but it garnered little notice until it was cited by Alexander von Humboldt in his work, Kosmos, in 1851.
He is also the first person to draw the Great Red Spot of Jupiter.
Thanks to his accomplishments he was elected to England’s Royal Astronomical Society and was given its Gold Medal (previous to his election).
High Altitude Observatory – Schwabe
Excerpts from Solar Observations During 1843, by Heinrich Schwabe
Wikipedia - Schwabe
SpaceToday.net - source of the beautiful copyrighted picture