Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (Archive)
Alexander von Humboldt
Observations astronomiques faites dans le Voyage de Sibérie
The quarto volume mainly contains compilations of astronomical and magnetic
measurement data obtained during the journey. It consists of four different texts.
First, in September 1830 Humboldt prepared excerpts from the original travel
journal Fragmente. These are site-specific astronomical
and magnetic observations with precise information on the observation site, in
comparison with other observers such as Erman, Hansteen, Schubert, Višnevskij.
There are references to the correspondence with Bessel and Kupfer (folio 7–28,
A second extensive text brings together the calculations of these datasets by
Humboldt’s assistant Jabbo Oltmanns from the years 1830/31 (compiled in 1833) with
remarks by Humboldt and his revised version of January 1837. The latitude,
longitude, and time determinations are compared with Daussy, Erman, Islenjew,
Lemm, Weliki, and Višnevskij (especially folio 42–90).
The third text comprises the results of a second revision of the Astronomica by
Humboldt and Encke (folio 3–5, 91–94, 124–125), partly dated 1841.
Finally, a fourth type of text concerns literary excerpts from the Astronomische Nachrichten (folio 103, 104) and a letter
from Bessel to Humboldt (1829: printed in Humboldt 1994, no. 16).