Rigge, William F., S.J.
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First Paragraph: The centenary of the birth of a great astronomer naturally calls for some notice of the man and his work. Edward Heis was born in Cologne, Germany, on February 18, 1806. He was the third son of George Frederick Heis, an apothecary whose fondness for physics and mineralogy was evidently inherited by his son. After having completed his course at the Fried rich-Wilhelm Gymnasium in his own city, Edward entered upon the study of mathematics in the high school at Bonn. At the early age of 21 he successfully passed the state examination pro facultate docendi and solved two difficult prize problems. The first related to the restoration of the book “De sectione determinata” by Apollonius, the other, proposed by the well known historian Niebuhr, concerned a solar eclipse referred to by Cicero (De republica I, 16) of which Ennius had said: Soli luna obstitit et nox. Young Heis showed that this eclipse occurred in the year 400 B. C., and that the Sun, had set for Rome soon after the eclipse had begun, thus explaining the meaning of the cited expression.