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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.
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Cross-listed in Writers

Franz Xaver von Zach

bornactivedied
1754, Jun 41780s-18271832, Sep 2
a Hungarian astronomer born in Pest, Hungary. Zach published Tables of the Sun (Gotha, 1792; new and improved edition, ibid., 1804), and numerous papers on geographical subjects, particularly on the geographical positions of many towns and places, which he determined on his travels with a sextant. His principal importance was, however, as editor of th...
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Cross-listed in ClergyWritersScientists

Abraham Zacuto

bornactivedied
1452, Aug 121480s-1500s1515 ca
a Sephardi Jewish astronomer, astrologer, mathematician, rabbi and historian who served as Royal Astronomer in the 15th century to King John II of Portugal. The crater Zagut on the Moon is named after him.
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Cross-listed in ClergyWritersScientists

Niccolo Zucchi

aka: Niccolò
borndied
1586, Dec 61670, May 21
an Italian Jesuit, astronomer, and physicist. As an astronomer he may have been the first to see the belts on the planet Jupiter (on May 17, 1630), and reported spots on Mars in 1640. His Optica philosophia experimentis et ratione a fundamentis constituta, published in 1652–56, described his 1616 experiments using a curved mirror instead of a lens a...
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