Gottfried Heinsius was a German mathematician, geographer and astronomer. He was born near Naumburg and was awarded a Ph.D. in 1733 from the University of Leipzig with a dissertation on De viribus motricibus. Later he became professor of mathematics at the same institution. Professor Heinsius may have been the first to publish an announcement about the return of Halley's comet in 1759. From 1736–43 he taught in St. Petersburg with Leonhard Euler and was a member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences. He died in Leipzig. The crater Heinsius on the Moon is named after him.