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A small graphic for informations   The following list of astronomers did research the solar system and did discover planets, moons and asteroids. This list is not intended to be a complete list of all astronomers.
Adams, John Couch (1819 - 1892)
British mathematician and astronomer. John Adams predicted, like LeVerrier, the existence and position of the planet Neptune. Additionally, John Adams worked on correcting the theory and description of the motion of the Moon and also investigated meteor showers.
Aristarchus (~310 BC - ~230 BC)
Ancient greek mathematician and astronomer. Aristarchus is believed to be the first astronomer to state the theory of an heliocentric system long before Nicolas Copernicus. He also measured the distances from Earth to the Moon and to the Sun.
Barnard, Edward Emerson (1857 - 1923)
American astronomer. Edward Barnard was one of the pioneer in celestial photography. He discovered the fifth satellite of Jupiter in 1892, which was later named Amalthea. Barnards observations were important on clarifying the nature of the planetary rings. In the year 1916 he discovered the nearby star that was later named Barnards Star.
Bond, William Cranch (1789 - 1859)
American astronomer and clockmaker. William Bond was the first director of the Harvard College Obervatory and started extended observations of sunspots and the Orion Nebula in 1839. He discovered the satellite Hyperion while researching the ring system of Saturn.
Brahe, Tycho (1546 - 1601)
Danish astronomer. Tycho Brahe made the at his time most precise observations of planetary motion and discovered anomalies in planetary orbits. He provided the crucial data for later astronomers like Johannes Kepler to construct our present model of the solar system. Tycho Brahe himself did not accept the new plantary model described by Nicolas Copernicus.
Cassini, Giovanni Domenico (1625 - 1712)
French astronomer. Giovanni Cassini was the first director of the Paris Observatory. His extended planetary observations made the important discoveries of surface structure and rotation of Mars and Jupiter possible. Additionally, he discovered four satellites of Saturn (Iapetus, Rhea, Tethys, Dione). Giovanni Cassini discovered 1675 a gap in the ring system of Saturn, the socalled "Cassini Division".
Christy, James (1938 -)
American astronomer. Charon was discovered by James Christy in 1978 at the U.S. Naval Observatory. James Christy was observing irregularities on Pluto which later proved to be the new satellite Charon.
Copernicus, Nicolas (1473 - 1543)
German astronomer. Nicolas Copernicus published his fantastic work about the revolution of celestial bodies in 1543. Copernicus view of the world placed the Sun in at the centre of the universe and declared that Earth travels around the Sun once yearly. His theory was not perfect as he assumed circular orbits but was amended by Johannes Kepler later.
d'Arrest, Heinrich Louis (1822 - 1875)
German astronomer. Heinrich Louis d'Arrest and Johann Gottfried Galle were the first to observe the new planet Neptune. Heinrich Louis d'Arrest was an astronmer at the observatories of Leipzig and Kopenhagen were he researched distant galaxies.
Dollfus, Audouin Charles (1924 -)
French physicist and astronomer. Dollfus made the first ascent in a stratospheric balloon in France in order to pursue detailed investigations of Mars. Dollfus investigated the possibility and composition of an atmosphere of the Moon and of the planets Mercury and Saturn. In 1966 Dollfus discovered Janus, the innermost moon of Saturn.
Galilei, Galileo (1564 - 1642)
Italian physicist, mathematician and astronomer. Galileo Galilei improved the principles of the telescope invented by the dutchman Hans Lippershey. Using the new telescope Galilei observed the phases of the planet Venus and discovered the rings of Saturn. He also discovered the four large moons of Jupiter (Ganymede, Callisto, Io and Europe). Additionally he was a strong supporter of the new world view by Nicolas Copernicus, rejecting the old views of Ptolemaeus.
Galle, Johann Gottfried (1812 - 1910)
German astronomer. Johann Galle and Heinrich Louis d'Arrest were the first who observed the planet Neptune. His observations based on the predictions of Urbain LeVerrier. Even with Johann Galle being the first to observe and verify Neptune's position is its discovery normally associated with John Adams and Urbain LeVerrier who both predicted its position.
Gladman, Brett James (1966 -)
Canadian Astronomer and physicist. Brett Gladman ist best known as discoverer or co-discover of many astronomical bodies in the solar system. Among his discoveries are many smaller moons of Jupiter and Saturn, as well as some moons of Uranus (Caliban, Sycorax, Prospero, Setebos und Stephano). Brett Gladman is professor at the University of British Columbia's Department of Physics and Astronomy, in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Hall, Asaph (1829 - 1907)
American astronomer. Asaph Hall discovered the two martian moons Phobos and Deimos in 1877 while working for the US naval observatory. He also observed many other moons and Asteroids and calculated the distances of stars and double stars.
Herschel, Sir Friedrich William (1738 - 1822)
British astronomer and musician of german heritage. William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus in 1781. Additionally he discovered the moons Mimas and Enceladus of Saturn and the moons Titania and Oberon of Uranus. William Herschel wrote extended catalogues of nebulas and double stars. All these observations were only possible because he built himself large reflector telescopes.
Hipparchus (~160 BC - ~125 BC)
Ancient greek astronomer and mathematician. Hipparchus discovered the precession of the equinoxes and the eccentricity of the Sun's path and estimated the distances of the Sun and Moon from the Earth. His catalogue of 1080 stars was used as basis for Ptolemaeus star catalogue. Finally, he invented trigonometry.
Huygens, Christiaan (1629 - 1695)
Dutch physicist and mathematician. Christiaan Huygens established the wave theory of light and invented the pendulum clock. As an astronomer, he discovered the oblateness of Mars, the Orion Nebula and Titan, a satellite of Saturn.
Jewitt, David C. (1958 -)
British astronomer. David Jewitt is a Professor of astronomy at the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy. His research interests include the trans-Neptunian Solar System, Solar System formation and the physical properties of Comets. Additionally he was involved in the discovery of a number of smaller satellites of the planet Jupiter.
Kepler, Johannes (1571 - 1630)
German astronomer and mathematician. Johannes Kepler is famous for his three laws of planetary motion which replaced the circular orbits of Nicolas Copernicus by elliptic orbits. His extended observations, at the beginning as an assistant of Tycho Brahe, improved knowledge about calculation the planetary positions greatly.
Kowal, Charles Thomas (1940 -)
American astronomer. Charles Kowal discovered the satellites Leda and Themisto of Jupiter. He also discovered the first of the Asteroids of the Centaur classification, Chiron (2060). Themisto was rediscovered in 2000 by Sheppard.
Kuiper, Gerard Peter (1905 - 1975)
Dutch astronomer. Gerard Kuiper discovered two moons of Neptune, Miranda and Nereid. Additionally he improved the methods of analysis for planetary atmospheres and discovered the existence of methane on the satellite Titan.
Lassell, William (1799 - 1880)
British astronomer, originally a brewer. William Lassell discovered the moons Ariel and Umbriel of the planet Uranus and the satellite Triton of the planet Neptune. Additionally he discovered the satellite Hyperion of the planet Saturn, independent from and just a day after William Bond.
LeVerrier, Urbain Jean Joseph (1811 - 1877)
French astronomer. The predictions of LeVerrier about the position of an undiscovered planet influencing the orbit of the planet Uranus lead to a speedy search for this new planet. Johann Galle was the first to observe this new planet Neptune. The astronomer John Adams had carried out virtually identically calculations a few months before. Additionally Leverrier was instrumental in the establishment of a meteorological network across continental europe.
Lippershey, Hans (1570 - 1619)
Dutch eyeglass maker. Hans Lippershey invented, nearly at the same time like some others, the principle of telescope. Galileo Galilei improved the principles of Hans Lippershey shortly after his invention.
Marius, Simon (1573 - 1624)
German astronomer. Simon Marius or Mayr was the first to name the four large moons of Jupiter "Satellites" and provided the today known names Ganymede, Callisto, Io and Europe. Additionally he discovered the Andromeda Nebula in 1612 and observed the changes in luminance of stars.
Melotte, Philibert Jacques (1880 - 1961)
British astronomer of belgian immigrants. Philibert Melotte discovered in 1908 the satellite Pasiphae of Jupiter and in 1909 the asteroid Melitta. Additionally he created a catalogue of open clusers.
Neujmin, Grigoriy Nikolajewitsch (1886 - 1946)
Russian astronomer. Neujmin discovered alltogether 74 Asteroids, among them (951) Gaspra. He also discovered or co-discovered a number of periodic comets, including 25D/Neujmin, 28P/Neujmin, 42P/Neujmin, 57P/du Toit-Neujmin-Delporte and 58P/Jackson-Neujmin.
Newton, Sir Isaac (1643 - 1727)
British mathematician and physicist. Sir Isaac Newton invented what we till today know as classical mechanics. He also described universal gravitation and mathematically prooved Kepler's laws of planetary motion. He also investigated the refraction of light and invented a special refracting telescope.
Nicholson, Seth Barnes (1891 - 1963)
American astronomer. Seth Barnes Nicholson discovered the new satellite Sinope while observing Jupiter and the previously discovered satellite Pasiphae. Later, working at the Mount Wilson Observatory, he discovered the moons Lysithea, Carme and Ananke of Jupiter.
Olbers, Heinrich Wilhelm (1758 - 1840)
German physician, physicist.and astronomer. Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers developed methods to determinate the orbit of celestial bodies. He also discovered the Asteroids Pallas and Vesta and six Comets and formulated the Olbers' Paradoxon.
Perrine, Charles Dillon (1867 - 1951)
Argentinian-american astronomer. Charles Perrine was staff member of the Lick Observatory and became later director of the Argentine National Oberservatory. He discovered the moons Himalia and Elara of Jupiter. Additionally he researched Comets and discovered some new Comets.
Piazzi, Giuseppe (1746 - 1826)
Italian astronomer, mathematician and monk. Guiseppe Piazzi studied theology and philosophy. In 1781, Piazzi became director of the newly founded observatory in Palermo. He discovered the first asteroid of the solar system in 1801 which got named Ceres.
Pickering, William Henry (1858 - 1938)
American astronomer. William Pickering discovered the satellite Phoebe of Saturn. Additionally, William Pickering calculated and researched theories on probabilities of planets beyond Neptune.
Ptolemaeus, Claudius (~85 - ~165)
Ancient greek geographer, astronomer and mathematician. Claudius Ptolemaeus founded the occidental world view with his work "Almagest" and influenced this world view till the late middle ages. His modell of the geocentric universe, the ptolemaeic world view, was based on the opinion that all heavenly bodies have to orbit Earth.
Terrile, Richard John (1951 -)
American astronomer. Richard Terrile works as astronomer at the JPL for the NASA. He was semifinalist and candidate for astronaut for the SkyLab mission. As a member of the Voyager Imaging Team he dicovered the satellite Atlas of Jupiter, the satellites Cordelia and Ophelia of Uranus and the satellites Naiad and Thalassa of Neptune.
Tombaugh, Clyde William (1906 - 1997)
American astronomer. Clyde Tombaugh discovered the planet Pluto in 1930 with working at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff. After his discovery of Pluto Tombaugh examined over 90 million star maps for 13 years but did not discover any other planet.
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