Hermann Bruck  

    Maíre wrote the following note as an introduction to "Recollections of life as a student and a young astronomer in Germany in the 1920s" which her husband wrote for his family:

Hermann Alexander Brück, Emeritus Professor of Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh and former Astronomer Royal for Scotland, died on 4 March 2000 in his 95th year. He was the last of his generation of astronomers in both Germany and Britain, and among the oldest members, if not the oldest, of the Royal Astronomical Society and of the Astronomische Gesellschaft.

Born in Berlin in 1905 Hermann Brück received his education at the Universities of Kiel, Bonn and Munich in 1924-1928. To the end of his life he looked back on his student days in Munich as the most profitable and exciting he ever experienced. From Munich he began his astronomical career at the Potsdam Astrophysical Observatory. These, too, were happy days, destined, however, to be blighted within a few years by the rise of Nazism.

In 1936 Brück left Germany, and obtained a temporary Research Assistantship at the Vatican Observatory. From there he went a year later to Cambridge, rising to the rank of John Couch Adams Astronomer and Assistant Director of the Observatory. In 1947, in response to an invitation from Eamon de Valera, then Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland, he moved to Dublin where he undertook the task of re-founding the defunct Dunsink Observatory under the auspices of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. He moved from Dublin to the Royal Observatory Edinburgh in 1957, taking up the combined post of Astronomer Royal for Scotland and Regius Professor of Astronomy in the University of Edinburgh. He retired in 1975 at the age of 70.

Always interested in history, he occupied himself in his retirement with various historical projects. These included writing the histories of the Royal Observatory Edinburgh (The Story of Astronomy in Edinburgh, Edinburgh 1983) and of the earlier Dun Echt Observatory in Aberdeenshire (Lord Crawford's Observatory at Dun Echt 1872-1892, Vistas in Astronomy 35, 1992) as well as a record of his own years at Dunsink Observatory (in Patrick A Wayman's Dunsink Observatory 1785-1985, Dublin 1987). A brief account of his student years in Germany was also published in 1987 (Rajkumari Williamson (ed.) The Making of Physicists, Bristol 1987). He also wrote (with M T Brück) a biography of one of his predecessors, Charles Piazzi Smyth, (The Peripatetic Astronomer, Bristol 1988) and contributed articles to biographical dictionaries.
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