Photograph of Johann Hieronymus Schröter(Sourtesy of the Scientific Identity)
Johann Hieronymus Schröter was a German astronomer, born August 30, 1745 in Erfurt and died August 29, 1816. His father was a lawyer. Before becoming a true astronomer, he studied law at Göttingen University from 1762 to 1767. He was assigned the position of being the Secretary of the Royal Chamber of George III in Hanover. He made many works of Venus and Mars. These contributed to the knowledge of another famous astronomers and the knowledge of what is outside the planet of Earth. After this he received a three-foot-long telescope to observe not only the moon and Venus, but the Sun as well. When working in his observatory he spent most of his time researching the planets and how they came about, also mapping ad documenting different compositions of the planets. In 1813, he suffered from the conflicts of the Napoleonic Wars and most of his works were ruined by the French, never to recover or regain some of his lost works.


Schröter was eventually inspired by Herschel's discovery of Uranus and he was driven to learn more about the objects outside of Earth's atmosphere. Johann began studying Mars and drew in depth, distinctive drawings of Mars' surface. He also published a book on the topography of the moon(Selenotopographische Fragmente zur genauern Kenntnis der Mondfläche).Schröter's curiousity was sparked even further through his interest in music, which eventually led him to become well acquainted with the Herschel family, and with their son William in England, who was to become the most well-known astronomer in the eighteenth century. Schröter started to truly get into depth about astronomy in 1772. He established the site of his astrological observatory in the town of Lilienthal. As mentioned above, he lost his works during the Napole
Schröter's drawing of Mars(Courtesy of "The Mars Society")
onic Wars in 1810. The Napoleonic invasion of Germany was the start of rough times in Lilienthal. When fleeing from the French soldiers, they destroyed a good part of the town. Even though Schröter's observatory and all of the objects being used in his observatory were left untouched, many of his observations notes and books of astronomy were lost amongst the raid, and destroyed along with Lilienthal town hall.

Later In Life

The only parts of his work discovered later were his distinct drawings of Mars. Certain pieces of his works were named after him
Modern Maps of Mars(Courtesy of Astrophotography by Tom Matheson)
as monuments such as: Schröter Crater on the moons surface, Vallis Schröteri(Schröter Valley) on the moon, and Schröter Crater on Mars. Though Schröter may have made distinct drawings of Mars, he was also observing Uranus, Jupiter, and Venus in the process of his rise in astrological intelligence. Since Johann exploration of Mars from a distance, modern science has begun to take affect around his ideas and really began to take shape. Johann inspired millions of people to invest millions of dollars in the further exploration of Mars and to find out there what people have been wondering for the past few hundred years. This advancement in exploration was all thanks to Johann Schröter's drawings. Many of these probes were sent up to Mars to explore what characteristics it displayed. Probes such as the "Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter" were sent up there to measure Mars' climate and physical characteristics to better enhance the understand of people down on Earth. This Probe also takes this data while orbiting the entire planet. Though Johann may have been once of the first people to discover Mars and its features, he difinately has not been the last and there is yet more to be discovered in later years of our lives.