David Fabricius

David Fabricius

German astronomer, discoverer of the first variable star
Date of Birth: 09.03.1564
Country: Germany

  1. Biography of David Fabricius
  2. Education and Correspondence
  3. Discovery of the First Variable Star
  4. Contributions to Astronomy
  5. Tragic End
  6. Legacy

Biography of David Fabricius

David Fabricius was a German astronomer known for his significant contributions to the field. He was born in 1564 and was a pastor in East Frisia, where he conducted his astronomical observations and research.

Education and Correspondence

Fabricius studied astronomy under the guidance of Lampadius in Braunschweig. He was highly regarded by his contemporaries, including Tycho Brahe, Kepler, and Bürger, with whom he maintained a correspondence. Tycho Brahe once stated that Fabricius was the second-best observer of his time, following only himself.

Discovery of the First Variable Star

Fabricius made a groundbreaking discovery on August 3, 1596. He observed a decrease in the brightness of the star Omicron Ceti (Mira Ceti), marking the first-ever observation of a variable star. This discovery revolutionized our understanding of the nature and behavior of stars.

Contributions to Astronomy

In addition to his discovery of the variable star, Fabricius made numerous other significant observations. He meticulously observed planets and made important contributions to our knowledge of their movements. He also observed the 1607 comet and discovered a new star in the constellation of Ophiuchus, among other notable achievements.

Tragic End

Fabricius met a tragic end when he was killed by a vengeful peasant. Fabricius had exposed the peasant's theft from the pulpit, leading to the act of violence. Despite his untimely death, Fabricius's contributions to astronomy continue to be celebrated and recognized to this day.


Fabricius's son, Johannes, followed in his father's footsteps and also became an astronomer. The Fabricius family's dedication to the field of astronomy left a lasting impact on the scientific community, and their work continues to inspire and influence astronomers around the world.