Gauss and the Discovery of Ceres

  title={Gauss and the Discovery of Ceres},
  author={Eric Gray Forbes},
  journal={Journal for the History of Astronomy},
  pages={195 - 199}
  • E. Forbes
  • Published 1971
  • Physics
  • Journal for the History of Astronomy
On the evening of 1 January 1801, the celebrated Italian astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi (1746-1826) observed what appeared to bea new star of the eighth magnitude in the constellation Taurus. When he checked this observation on the following evening, he found a slightly different value for the angular distance between this and a neighbouring star which made him doubt the accuracy of his former observation. However, after a further attempt to determine its position during the evening of 3 January… Expand

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VIII. Observations on the two lately discovered celestial bodies
  • W. Herschel
  • Engineering
  • Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London
  • 1802
In my early account of the moving star discovered by Mr. Piazzi, I have already shewn that it is of a remarkably small size, deviating much from that of all the primary planets. It was not myExpand
Maskelyne states: "I have, however, never seen Zach's Journal
    Maskelyne to Gauss
      So wenig kommunikabel er sonst auch mit seinen Beobachtungen ist, so wird er sie Ihnen doch gewiss nicht abschlagen". See C. Schilling, Wilhelm Olbers sein Leben und seine Werke, ii
        The quotation, along with the rest of the information in this paragraph, is taken from an English translation of Piazzi's memoir entitled
          These are: an increase of I' in the right ascension of Ceres for 10 March, an increase of t' in its declination for 18 April, and a decrease of t' in its declination for
            This is preserved among the Herschel papers in the Royal Astronomical Society library
              This result was a direct consequence of his adoption of the inverse-square distance law of gravitational attraction. Gauss's original method, referred to here, was first published in von Zach
              • Monatliche Correspondenz
              This value is cited at the head of an ephemeris of the equatorial co-ordinates of Ceres from 21 April to 29 June 1802 enclosed with Gauss's letter to Maskelyne of