Cuno Hoffmeister (February
2, 1892 – January 2, 1968) was a German astronomerand founder of Sonneberg
Sonneberg in 1892, Hoffmeister obtained his first telescope
in 1905 and became an avid amateur astronomer.
father lost most of his money in 1914, Hoffmeister had to leave
school in 1916 to start an apprenticeship in his father's company.
During this time he continued to study spherical mathematics and
trigonometry. In April 1915 Hoffmeister had the opportunity to
substitute as the assistant of Ernst Hartwig at Remeis Observatory
in Bamberg while the
current holder of the position was drafted, mainly working on
observations of meteors and variable
. He held this position until the end of the war and then
moved back to Sonneberg, where he made his Abitur
in 1920. After studying at the University of
Jena, while at the same time continuing to work in his
job as a tradesman, Hoffmeister obtained his doctorate in 1927. During this time he had already started
building what was to become Sonneberg Observatory.
After his PhD, Hoffmeister moved back to
Sonneberg and started expanding the observatory. Hoffmeister
remained at the observatory until his death, even though the
observatory lost most of its equipment after the second world war
and he was disowned as the
observatory became part of East Germany's academy of sciences.
Hoffmeister served as the director of the observatory until his
death.During his life Hoffmeister played a leading role in
supporting amateurs in observations of noctilucent clouds, aurorae,
and nightglow. Wilfried Schröder has described his role in a paper
in "Sitzungsberichte der Leibniz Sozietet für Wissenschaft" in
active life as an astronomer, Hoffmeister discovered approximately
10.000 variable stars and several
asteroids on the more than 100000
photographic plates taken at Sonneberg Observatory.
He also co-discovered comet C/1959 O1
. The crater Hoffmeister on the Moon is named after him,
as are the asteroids 1726
Hoffmeister and 4183