Giovanni Battista Hodierna

Giovanni Battista Hodierna, also spelled as Odierna (April 13, 1597 – April 6, 1660)[1] was an Italian astronomer at the court of Giulio Tomasi, Duke of Palma (Palma di Montechiaro). He compiled a catalogue of comets and other celestial objects containing some 40 entries, including at least 19 real and verifiable nebulous objects that might be confused with comets.

Giovan Battista Odierna


Hodierna was born in Ragusa, Sicily and died in Palma di Montechiaro. While serving as a Roman Catholic priest in Ragusa, he also practised astronomy.[1]

In 1654 he published a book entitled De systemate orbis cometici, deque admirandis coeli characteribus that contained a catalogue of celestial objects. The work anticipated Messier's catalogue, but had little impact. Messier seems not to have known of it.[2][3]

Hodierna was prolific in publication, and his interests spanned many disciplines. In addition to his astronomical observations, he utilized optic microscopes to study insects, publishing on the multifaceted eye of flies and that in bee colonies only the queen is oviparous.[4]


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  1. ^ a b "Giovanni Battista Hodierna". SEDS. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  2. ^ Birthday for a star cluster: Charles Messier, Astronomy Now, January 2011, page 20.
  3. ^ Fodera-Serio, G.; Indorato, L.; Nastasi, P. (February 1985), "Hodierna's Observations of Nebulae and his Cosmology", Journal for the History of Astronomy, 16 (1): 1, Bibcode:1985JHA....16....1F, doi:10.1177/002182868501600101, S2CID 118328541
  4. ^ Mira, Giuseppe M. Bibliografia Siciliana. Volume I A-L. Palermo: Tipografia GB Gaudiano. doi:10.5962/bhl.title.48631. |volume= has extra text (help)
  5. ^ Archimedes revived with the present stilyard, where not only is taught how to discover frauds in the falsification of gold and silver; but the use of civil weights and measures is noted in various nations of the world and of this kingdom of Sicily.
  6. ^ Protean heavenly vertigo or Saturn's system.
  7. ^ The new and strange star appeared in the year 1600 on the chest of the Cygnus (constellation), discovered again, This refers to the star P Cygni.

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