I always assumed that Wolf 359's discoverer had been Max Wolf, but I just found out that he simply measured its high proper movement and included it in his star catalog.

Since Wolf 359 is a very faint star that can only be observed with a large telescope it is clear that it was unknown in ancient times and that some astronomer must have been the first to observe its existence.

Are there any data on who was the first observer of Wolf 359? If not, in which star catalogue or other map was it first included?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ From the catalogue, the Publ. Nr. and A.N. columns are references to the journal Astronomische Nachrichten. It's not easy to see what those precisely correspond to because of course even that far back the relevant bits of the journal are still paywalled. Sigh. $\endgroup$
    – user24157
    Commented Feb 12, 2020 at 22:55

1 Answer 1


For me, it looks like Max Wolf discovered the movements of the Wolf 359, see the (German) original publication from 1918 "Zwei Sterne mit großer Eigenbewegung in Leo," but he does not mention which previous observations existed:

Image of 1918 article

Fun fact: The object was observed from Königstuhl, a peak next to the city of Heidelberg, Germany. That was back in the days when light pollution was not an issue yet.

  • $\begingroup$ @MikeG Thanks for the polish of my post! $\endgroup$
    – B--rian
    Commented Mar 5, 2021 at 18:30
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You're welcome. Nr. 699 here corresponds to Nr. 359 in Wolf's 1919 catalog. $\endgroup$
    – Mike G
    Commented Mar 5, 2021 at 18:57

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