WALTHER, BERNHARD (1430-1504), German astronomer, was born at Nuremberg in 1430. He was a man of large means, which he devoted to scientific pursuits. When Regiomontanus (q.v.) settled at Nuremberg in 1471, Walther built for their common use an observatory at which in 1484 clocks driven by weights were first used in astronomical determinations. He further brought into prominence the effects of refraction in altering the apparent places of the heavenly bodies, and substituted Venus for the Moon as a connecting-link between observations of the Sun and stars. Walther established a printing-press, from which some of the earliest editions of astronomical works were issued. His observations, begun in 1475 and continued until his death in May 1504, were published by j. Schoner in 1544, and by W. Snell in 1618, as an appendix to his Obsenationes Hassiaceae.
See J. G. Doppelmayr, Hist. Nachricht von den nurnbergischen Mathematicis, p. 23 (1730); G. A. Will, Nurnbergisches GelehrtenLexikon, vii. 381 (1806); J. F. Montucla, Hist, des mathematiques, i. 546; J. S. Bailly, Hist, de I'astr. moderne, i. 319; E. F. Apelt, Die Reformation der Sternkunde, p. 54; J. P. von Wurzelbaur, Uranies Noricae basis astronomica (1719); J. F. Weidler, Hist.astronomiae, p. 322 ; A. G. Kastner, Geschichte der Mathematik, ii. 324 ; Mitteilungen des Vereins fur Gesch. der Stadt Numbers,, vii. zvi (1888) (H. Petz); R. Wolf, Gesch. der Astr. p. 92, etc.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)