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Herman Heyn - Baltimore's Street Corner Astronomer and Ambassador

As Howard Astronomical League marks the passing Baltimore's Sidewalk Astronomer in February 2021, it is fitting for us to pause for a moment to pay tribute to his legendary body of work. Toward this end, we have gathered photographs, news and magazine articles, his journal, and HAL members' remembrances related his exemplary record of public outreach in astronomy. Among this material is ample evidence of how he has inspired HAL members and countless others to become more interested in astronomy over three decades of sidewalk astronomy. We believe that his legacy will be continue to inspire the public for many years to come. As Maryland's premier astronomy public outreach organization, it is our sincere hope that we can help foster this legacy with this tribute.
[Read Jim Johnson's full tribute...]

Herman's Home Pages


"Like a lot of folks I had the good fortune to meet Herman many years ago as I was delving deeper into amateur astronomy. I was struck by both his practical knowledge of the hobby as well as his desire to share it. Whether it was a simple Post-it note memento stamped with "I saw Saturn!" on it or a handout describing how you can use your hand to estimate degrees in the sky, Herman was always giving away something to stimulate your interest in the night sky."
[Read Jim Tomney's full blog entry...]

Sky & Telescope Publications

  • September 1973: 5 x 5 photo array of solar eclipse
  • Summer/Fall 1977? - Two photographs of Vesta
  • October 1977: Amateur Astronomers: Stars Behind Bars
  • Summer/Fall 1994: 5 x 5 photo array of solar eclipse
  • Sept. 1994: How to See Starts in the Daytime (link below)
  • Summer/Fall 2004: Cicada on photo of Transit of Venus
  • Summer/Fall 2013: Eponymic Astronomy: Photo of Herman's Cross
  • Summer-Winter 2018: Diamond Ring Effect: Couple engaged during one of Herman's street corner events

Herman Heyn Sidewalk Astronomy Notes

Herman's Cross (near the ecliptic in Sagittarius)




Herman Videos

Herman By the Numbers

  • 2,857 nights observing on Baltimore's street corners!
  • 31 years of observation notes
  • 92+ nights/year (average)
  • 603 pages of astronomical observation notes
  • 1987 first year (11/13/87)
  • 2018 last year (11/02/18)
  • 8th grade - when he got the astronomy bug (1944)
  • 73 years of astronomy
  • $200,000 in donations over 31 years
  • $6452/year (average)
  • $10 amount Herman collected on his first night
  • 133 power magnification
  • 7 planets seen by Herman (not counting Earth)
  • 1930 born
  • 2021 died
  • 90 years on this planet




1937 Star Atlas that Kickstarted Herman's Interest in 1944

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Last modified: April 26, 2021 @ 16:26 EST