Giuseppe Piazzi
     Catholic_Encyclopedia Giuseppe Piazzi
    Astronomer, b. at Ponte in Valtellina, 16 July, 1746; d. at Naples, 22 July, 1826. He took the habit of the Theatines at Milan and finished his novitiate at the convent of San Antonio. Studying at colleges of the order at Milan, Turin, Rome, and Genoa, under such preceptors as Tiraboschi, Beccaria, Le Seur, and Jacquier, he acquired a taste for mathematics and astronomy. He taught philosophy for a time at Genoa and mathematics at the new University of Malta while it lasted. In 1779, as professor of dogmatic theology in Rome, his colleague was Chiaramonti, later Pius VII. In 1780 he was called to the chair of higher mathematics at the academy of Palermo. There he soon obtained a grant from Prince Caramanico, Viceroy of Sicily, for an observatory. As its director he was charged to get the necessary instruments. He went to Paris in 1787 to study with Lalande, to England in 1788 to work with Maskelyne and the famous instrument-maker Ramsden. A large vertical circle with reading microscopes, a transit, and other apparatus were sent to Palermo in 1789, where they were placed on top of a tower of the royal palace. Observations were started in May, 1791, and the first reports were published as early as 1792. Soon he was able to correct errors in the estimation of the obliquity of the ecliptic, of the aberration of light, of the length of the tropical year, and of the parallax of the fixed stars. He saw the necessity for a revision of the existing catalogues of stars and for the exact determination of their positions. In 1803 he published a list of 6784 stars and in 1814 a second catalogue containing 7646 stars. Both lists were awarded prizes by the Institute of France.
    While looking for a small star mentioned in one of the earlier lists he made his great discovery of the first known planetoid, 1 Jan., 1801. Locating a strange heavenly body of the eighth magnitude and repeating the observation several nights in succession, he found that this star had shifted slightly. Believing it to be a comet, he announced its discovery. These few but exact measurements enabled Gauss to calculate the orbit and to find that this was a new planet, between Mars and Jupiter. Kepler and Bode had called attention to the apparent gap between these two, so that the placing of this new body within that space caused great excitement among astronomers. Piazzi proposed the name of Ceres Ferdinandea, in honour of his king. Over 600 of these so-called planetoids have since been located within the same space. The king desired to strike a gold medal with Piazzi's effigy, in commemoration, but the astronomer requested the privilege of using the money for the purpose of a much-needed equatorial telescope. In 1812 he received the commission to reform the weights and measures of Sicily in accordance with the metric system. In 1817 as director-general of the observatories of the Two Sicilies he was charged with the plans of the new observatory which Murat was establishing in Naples. He was a member of the Academies of Naples, Turin, Göttingen, Berlin, and St. Petersburg, foreign associate of the Institute of Milan etc. Besides the numerous memoirs published in the proceedings of the various academies, the following works may be mentioned: "Della specula astronomica di Palermo libri quatro" (Palermo, 1792); "Sull' orologio Italiano e l'Europeo" (Palermo, 1798); "Della scoperta del nuovo planeta Cerere Ferdinandea" (Palermo, 1802); "Præcipuarum stellarum inerrantium positiones mediæ ineunte seculo XIX ex obsrvationibus habitis in specula Panormitana at 1793 ad 1802" (Palermo, 1803, 1814); "Codice metrico siculo" (Catane, 1812); "Lezioni di astronomia" (Palermo, 1817; tr. Westphal, Berlin, 1822); "Raggnaglio dal reale osservatorio d'Napoli" (Naples, 1821).
    WOLF, Geschichte der Astronomie (Munich, 1871); MAINERI, L'Astronomo Giovanni Piazzi (Milan, 1871); Cosmos (Paris, 2 March, and 15 June, 1901); KNELLER, Das Christentum (Freiburg, 1904), 75-80.
    Transcribed by WGKofron With thanks to St. Mary's Church, Akron, Ohio

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.

Catholic encyclopedia.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Piazzi — Piazzi, Giuseppe, geb. 1746 zu Ponte im Veltlin, wurde 1764 Theatiner in Mailand, studirte hier, in Turin, Rom u. Genua u. wurde 1770 Professor der Mathematik an der Universität[116] in Malta, kehrte aber nach Aufhebung der Universität nach Rom… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Piazzi — Piazzi, Giuseppe, Astronom, geb. 16. Juli 1746 zu Ponte im Veltlin, gest. 22. Juli 1826 in Neapel, trat 1764 in den Theatinerorden, studierte in Mailand, Turin, Rom, Genua, lehrte dann in Malta, Ravenna, Cremona und wurde 1779 Professor der… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Piazzi — Piazzi, Giuseppe, Astronom, geb. 16. Juli 1746 zu Ponte (Veltlin), gest. 22. Juli 1826 als Generaldirektor der Sternwarten zu Neapel und Palermo; entdeckte 1. Jan 1801 den 1. Asteroiden, die Ceres …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Piazzi — Piazzi, Giuseppo, Astronom, geb. 1746 zu Ponte im Veltlin, trat in den Theatinerorden zu Mailand, ward 1770 Professor der Mathematik zu Malta, kam dann nach Rom, 1781 als Professor der Astronomie und Mathematik nach Palermo, wo er zugleich… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Piazzi — Piazzi, Giuseppe …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Piazzi — Giuseppe Piazzi zeigt auf den von ihm entdeckten „Planeten“ Ceres. Gemälde von Giuseppe Velasco (1750–1826). Giuseppe Piazzi (* 16. Juli 1746 in Ponte im Veltlin; † 22. Juli 1826 in Neapel) war ein italienischer Astronom, Mathematiker und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Piazzi — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Giuseppe Piazzi (1746 1826) est un célèbre astronome italien, qui découvrit Cérès. Charles Piazzi Smyth (1819 1900) est un astronome écossais. La Cima de… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Piazzi — Piạzzi,   Giuseppe, italienischer Astronom, * Ponte (Veltlin) 16. 7. 1746, ✝ Neapel 22. 7. 1826; Theatinermönch und Professor der höheren Mathematik. Piazzi baute die Sternwarte in Palermo, deren Direktor er später ebenso wie der von Neapel war …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Piazzi — Sp Pjãcis Ap Piazzi L s. Karalienės Adelaidės ss., P Čilė …   Pasaulio vietovardžiai. Internetinė duomenų bazė

  • Piazzi — /pee aht see, ah zee/; It. /pyaht tsee/, n. Giuseppe, 1746 1826, Italian astronomer. * * * …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”