Johann Abraham Ihle

Ihle was born on June 14, 1627 in Germany, possibly in Leipzig. He worked in Leipzig as a post-office official. As an amateur astronomer Ihle observed sunspots (1680-1687), planets and comets. He was a friend of Kirch and Hevelius. Ihle and Kirch were in close contact (letters, visits in Berlin) about their observations. Ihle made observations till 1695 and died probably in 1699 or a little later in Leipzig.

Ihle probably found NGC 6652 = M 22 on August 26, 1665 while observing Saturn in Sagittarius ("composite nebula between the head and the bow of the archer onto which a great number of faint stars was projected"). It is publsished in Kirch's Ephemeriden 1682 (cited by Schultz, AN [1585] 67, 1 (1866)). That Ihle discovered M 22 is the common opinion of Halley, de Chesesaux and Messier. It is interesting that Saturn made a triple conjunction with M 22 in 1665 (the year before aphelion). Hevelius may have seen M 22 a little earlier, according to Kirch. Admiral Smyth notes, that perhaps Abraham Hill, 1st coucil of the Royal Society, is the real "Ihle", but this not accepted.