Humans have gazed at the night sky for thousands of years, and found it pretty interesting. They learned that you could navigate using the celestial map and, over time, also learned that certain events could be predicted. These learned people were quite prized by their brethren, and their endeavors helped advance our understanding of the world.

Last Name

John Couch Adams

1819, Jun 51835-18881892, Jan 21
a British mathematician and astronomer. His most famous achievement was predicting the existence and position of Neptune, using only mathematics. The calculations were made to explain discrepancies with Uranus's orbit and the laws of Kepler and Newton.
Timeline (2)Links (13)

George B. Airy

1801, Jul 271822-18811892, Jan 21
an English mathematician and astronomer, Astronomer Royal from 1835 to 1881. His many achievements include work on planetary orbits, measuring the mean density of the Earth, a method of solution of two-dimensional problems in solid mechanics and, in his role as Astronomer Royal, establishing Greenwich as the location of the prime meridian.
Timeline (1)Links (1)

Cross-listed in InventorsScientists

Giovanni Battista Amici

1786, Mar 251863, Apr 10
an Italian astronomer, microscopist, and botanist. Amici was born in Modena, in present-day Italy. After studying at Bologna, he became professor of mathematics at Modena, and in 1831 was appointed inspector-general of studies in the Duchy of Modena. A few years later he was chosen director of the observatory at Florence, where he also lectured at the museum...
Links (1)

Anders Jonas Angstrom

aka: Ångström
1814, Aug 131839-18731874, Jun 21
a Swedish physicist and one of the founders of the science of spectroscopy. Intrigued by terrestrial magnetism he recorded observations of fluctuations in magnetic intensity in various parts of Sweden, and was charged by the Stockholm Academy of Sciences with the task, not completed till shortly before his death, of working out the magnetic data obtained by ...
Links (1)

Cross-listed in ScientistsCartographers

Petrus Apianus

1495, Apr 161524-15401552, Apr 21
a German humanist, known for his works in mathematics, astronomy and cartography. The lunar crater Apianus and minor planet 19139 Apian are named in his honour.
Links (1)

Cross-listed in Writers

Francois Arago

aka: François
1786, Feb 261804-18521853, Oct 2
a French mathematician, physicist, astronomer, freemason, supporter of the carbonari and politician. In 1818 or 1819 he proceeded along with Biot to execute geodetic operations on the coasts of France, England and Scotland. They measured the length of the seconds-pendulum at Leith, Scotland, and in the Shetland Islands, the results of the observations being ...
Links (1)

Friedrich Wilhelm Argelander

1799, Mar 221823-18631875, Feb 17
a German astronomer. He is known for his determinations of stellar brightnesses, positions, and distances. Argelander excelled in developing effective, simple and fast methods for measuring star positions and magnitudes, thereby making a pioneering work for modern astronomy.
Links (1)

Christoph Arnold

1650, Dec 171683-16921695, Apr 15
a German amateur astronomer. Born in Sommerfeld near Leipzig, Arnold was a farmer by profession. Interested in astronomy, he spotted the great comet of 1683, eight days before Hevelius did.
Links (1)

Asada Goryu

1734, Mar 101767-1790s1799, Jun 25
a Japanese astronomer who helped to introduce modern astronomical instruments and methods into Japan. Asada constructed sophisticated mathematical models of celestial movements and is sometimes credited with the independent discovery of Kepler's third law.
Links (1)

Cross-listed in Physicians

Giuseppe Asclepi

an Italian astronomer and physician. He was a Jesuit and director of the observatory at the Collegio Romano. The lunar crater Asclepi is named after him.
Links (1)

Adrien Auzout

1622, Jan 281640s-1660s1691, May 23
a French astronomer. Auzout made contributions in telescope observations, including perfecting the use of the micrometer. He made many observations with large aerial telescopes and he is noted for briefly considering the construction of a huge aerial telescope 1,000 feet in length that he would use to observe animals on the Moon.
Links (3)

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