Johan Sigismund Gottfried Huth (2 May 1763 Anhalt – 28 February 1818 Tartu) Director in 1809-1820

Huth studied theology and natural sciences in Halle and after graduating from the university taught at the Halle Pedagogical College. After defending his Doctoral thesis in 1787 he became a professor of physics and mathematics in Frankfurt (on the Oder). He collected a rich collection of minerals and opened an astronomical observatory for his own money. In 1802 he visited England and became acquainted with many astronomers. In 1801-1807 Huth discovered four comets.

In 1808 he became a professor at Kharkov University where he founded a temporary observatory, measured the geographical coordinates of Kharkov and carried out meteorological observations. In 1809 he was elected a professor of mathematics of Tartu University but he arrived in Tartu only in 1811. He delivered courses mainly in elementary mathematics, also military courses. As a next subject, professor Huth added the course of elements of higher geometry or the geometry of the line. He also lectured on mathematical geography in which he dealt with the shape and the size of the Earth, the revolving and the rotating of the Earth with the respective conclusions.

By the time Huth arrived, the Tartu observatory was completed and equipped. Huth’s constantly failing health was evidently the reason why Huth left the position of the observatory’s director in 1814 and his talented disciple F. G. W. Struve took over his responsibilities.