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Johann Palisa (December 6, 1848 – May 2, 1925) was an Austrian astronomer, born in Troppau, Austrian Silesia, now Czech Republic.[1] He was a prolific discoverer of asteroids, discovering 122 in all, from 136 Austria in 1874 to 1073 Gellivara in 1923.[2] Some of his notable discoveries include 153 Hilda, 216 Kleopatra, 243 Ida, 253 Mathilde, 324 Bamberga, and the near-Earth asteroid 719 Albert. Palisa made his discoveries without the aid of photography, and he remains the most successful visual (non-photographic) asteroid discoverer of all time.[3] He was awarded the Valz Prize from the French Academy of Sciences in 1906.[4] The asteroid 914 Palisana, discovered by Max Wolf in 1919, and the lunar crater Palisa were named in his honour.[5]

Johann Palisa
Johann Palisa.jpg
Born(1848-12-06)December 6, 1848
DiedMay 2, 1925(1925-05-02) (aged 76)
NationalityAustrian
Known forasteroids
AwardsLalande Prize, 1876
Valz Prize, 1906
Scientific career
Fieldsastronomy
InstitutionsUniversity of Vienna

Contents

BiographyEdit

 
A view of the City of Pula

Palisa was born on December 6, 1848 in Troppau in Austrian Silesia (now called Opava and located in the Czech Republic).[1] From 1866 to 1870, Palisa studied mathematics and astronomy at the University of Vienna; however, he did not graduate until 1884. Despite this, by 1870 he was an assistant at the University's observatory, and a year later gained a position at the observatory in Geneva. A few years later, in 1872, at the age of 24, Palisa became the director of the Austrian Naval Observatory in Pula. While at Pula, he discovered his first asteroid, 136 Austria, on March 18, 1874. Along with this, he discovered twenty-seven minor planets and one comet. During his stay in Pula he used a small six-inch refractor telescope to aid in his research.[1]

Palisa became director of the Pula observatory, with the rank of commander, until 1880.[6] In 1880 Palisa moved to the new Vienna Observatory. While at the observatory he discovered 94 comets by visual means.[1]

In 1883 he joined a French expedition to Caroline Island to observe the Solar eclipse of May 6, 1883. During the expedition, he joined to observations for the search for the hypothetical planet Vulcan, as well as collecting samples of insects for the Vienna Museum of Natural History.[1] In memory of this expedition, he named the asteroid 235 Carolina after Caroline Island.[7]

In 1885, Palisa offered to sell the naming rights of some of the minor planets he discovered, in order to fund his travels to observe the Solar eclipse of August 29, 1886.[8] However he sold just a small number of these naming rights and apparently did not go.[1]

Palisa and Max Wolf worked together to create the first star atlas created by photographic plates, the Palisa–Wolf Sternkarten, published on 1899, 1902, 1908.[1][6] In 1908, Palisa published the Sternenlexikon, mapping the skies from declinations -1° to +19°.[1]. That same year, he became the vice director of the Vienna Observatory. He retired from administrative duties in 1919, but kept observation rights. Palisa continued to discover asteroids until 1923. He died on May 2, 1925.

DiscoveriesEdit

 
253 Mathilde as seen by NEAR

Between 1874 and 1923 Palisa discovered 122 asteroids ranging from 136 Austria to 1073 Gellivara and the much later numbered Mars-crosser 14309 Defoy, respectively (see table below).[2] He made his discoveries at the Austrian Naval Observatory at Pola (538) and at the Vienna Observatory. He also discovered the parabolic comet C/1879 Q1 in August 1879.[1][9]

One of his discoveries was 253 Mathilde, a 50-kilometer sized C-type asteroid in the intermediate asteroid belt, which was visited by the NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft on June 27, 1997. The robotic probe passed within 1200 km of Mathilde at 12:56 UT at 9.93 km/s, returning imaging and other instrument data including over 500 images which covered 60% of Mathilde's surface.[10] Only a small number of minor planets have been visited by spacecraft.

Palisa made all of his asteroid discoveries visually. Even though Max Wolf had revolutionised the process of asteroid discovery by introducing photography in the 1890s,[11] Palisa continued to trust on visual observations. His final discovery, 1073 Gellivara, was the last asteroid that was found visually. Johann Palisa remains the most successful visual (non-photographic) asteroid discoverer of all time.[3]

136 Austria 18 March 1874 list
137 Meliboea 21 April 1874 list
140 Siwa 13 October 1874 list
142 Polana 28 January 1875 list
143 Adria 23 February 1875 list
151 Abundantia 1 November 1875 list
153 Hilda 2 November 1875 list
155 Scylla 8 November 1875 list
156 Xanthippe 22 November 1875 list
178 Belisana 6 November 1877 list
182 Elsa 7 February 1878 list
183 Istria 8 February 1878 list
184 Dejopeja 28 February 1878 list
192 Nausikaa 17 February 1879 list
195 Eurykleia 19 April 1879 list
197 Arete 21 May 1879 list
201 Penelope 7 August 1879 list
204 Kallisto 8 October 1879 list
205 Martha 13 October 1879 list
207 Hedda 17 October 1879 list
208 Lacrimosa 21 October 1879 list
210 Isabella 12 November 1879 list
211 Isolda 10 December 1879 list
212 Medea 6 February 1880 list
214 Aschera 29 February 1880 list
216 Kleopatra 10 April 1880 list
218 Bianca 4 September 1880 list
219 Thusnelda 30 September 1880 list
220 Stephania 19 May 1881 list
221 Eos 18 January 1882 list
222 Lucia 9 February 1882 list
223 Rosa 9 March 1882 list
224 Oceana 30 March 1882 list
225 Henrietta 19 April 1882 list
226 Weringia 19 July 1882 list
228 Agathe 19 August 1882 list
229 Adelinda 22 August 1882 list
231 Vindobona 10 September 1882 list
232 Russia 31 January 1883 list
235 Carolina 28 November 1883 list
236 Honoria 26 April 1884 list
237 Coelestina 27 June 1884 list
239 Adrastea 18 August 1884 list
242 Kriemhild 22 September 1884 list
243 Ida 29 September 1884 list
244 Sita 14 October 1884 list
248 Lameia 5 June 1885 list
250 Bettina 3 September 1885 list
251 Sophia 4 October 1885 list
253 Mathilde 12 November 1885 list
254 Augusta 31 March 1886 list
255 Oppavia 31 March 1886 list
256 Walpurga 3 April 1886 list
257 Silesia 5 April 1886 list
260 Huberta 3 October 1886 list
262 Valda 3 November 1886 list
263 Dresda 3 November 1886 list
265 Anna 25 February 1887 list
266 Aline 17 May 1887 list
269 Justitia 21 September 1887 list
273 Atropos 8 March 1888 list
274 Philagoria 3 April 1888 list
275 Sapientia 15 April 1888 list
276 Adelheid 17 April 1888 list
278 Paulina 16 May 1888 list
279 Thule 25 October 1888 list
280 Philia 29 October 1888 list
281 Lucretia 31 October 1888 list
286 Iclea 3 August 1889 list
290 Bruna 20 March 1890 list
291 Alice 25 April 1890 list
292 Ludovica 25 April 1890 list
295 Theresia 17 August 1890 list
299 Thora 6 October 1890 list
301 Bavaria 16 November 1890 list
304 Olga 14 February 1891 list
309 Fraternitas 6 April 1891 list
313 Chaldaea 30 August 1891 list
315 Constantia 4 September 1891 list
320 Katharina 11 October 1891 list
321 Florentina 15 October 1891 list
324 Bamberga 25 February 1892 list
326 Tamara 19 March 1892 list
569 Misa 27 July 1905 list
583 Klotilde 31 December 1905 list
652 Jubilatrix 4 November 1907 list
671 Carnegia 21 September 1908 list
687 Tinette 16 August 1909 list
688 Melanie 25 August 1909 list
689 Zita 12 September 1909 list
703 Noëmi 3 October 1910 list
710 Gertrud 28 February 1911 list
711 Marmulla 1 March 1911 list
716 Berkeley 30 July 1911 list
718 Erida 29 September 1911 list
719 Albert 3 October 1911 list
722 Frieda 18 October 1911 list
723 Hammonia 21 October 1911 list
724 Hapag 21 October 1911 list
725 Amanda 21 October 1911 list
728 Leonisis 16 February 1912 list
730 Athanasia 10 April 1912 list
734 Benda 11 October 1912 list
750 Oskar 28 April 1913 list
782 Montefiore 18 March 1914 list
783 Nora 18 March 1914 list
794 Irenaea 27 August 1914 list
795 Fini 26 September 1914 list
803 Picka 21 March 1915 list
827 Wolfiana 29 August 1916 list
828 Lindemannia 29 August 1916 list
867 Kovacia 25 February 1917 list
876 Scott 20 June 1917 list
902 Probitas 3 September 1918 list
903 Nealley 13 September 1918 list
932 Hooveria 23 March 1920 list
941 Murray 10 October 1920 list
964 Subamara 27 October 1921 list
975 Perseverantia 27 March 1922 list
996 Hilaritas 21 March 1923 list
1073 Gellivara 14 September 1923 list
14309 Defoy 22 September 1908 list

FamilyEdit

 
Grave of the astronomer Johann Palisa at the Vienna Central Cemetery

Palisa married his second wife, Anna Benda, in 1902. Asteroid 734 Benda is named after her.[12][13]. He also named minor planets after other members of his family: 320 Katharina after his mother, Katherina,[14] 321 Florentina for his daughter Florentine.[15].

His granddaughter was Gertrud Rheden, wife of astronomer Joseph Rheden. Asteroid 710 Gertrud is named after her.[16]

Honors and awardsEdit

In 1876 Palisa was awarded the Lalande Prize.

Palisa was awarded the Valz Prize from the French Academy of Sciences in 1906.[4]

The Phocaea main-belt asteroid 914 Palisana, discovered by Max Wolf in 1919, and the lunar crater Palisa were named in his honour.[5] Minor planets 902 Probitas, 975 Perseverantia, and 996 Hilaritas that he discovered were given names after his death for traits qualities associated with him: adherence to the highest principles and ideals, perservernce and happy or contented mind. Names were given by Joseph Rheden with the support of Palisa's second wife, Anna.[17]

Minor planet 1152 Pawona is named after both Johann Palisa and Max Wolf, in recognition of their cooperation. The name was proposed by Swedish astronomer Bror Ansgar Asplind. Pawona is a combination of "Palisa" and "Wolf" (Pa, Wo) joined with a Latin feminine suffix.[18]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Herbert Raab. "Johann Palisa, the most successful visual discoverer of asteroids" (PDF). Astrometrica. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Minor Planet Discoverers (by number)". Minor Planet Center. 28 October 2018. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  3. ^ a b Raab, Herbert, Johann Palisa, the most successful visual discoverer of asteroids (PDF), retrieved 28 April 2019
  4. ^ a b Lockyer, Sir Norman (3 January 1907). "Prizes Awarded and Proposed by the Paris Academy of Sciences". Nature. 75 (1940): 231–232. Bibcode:1907Natur..75R.231.. doi:10.1038/075231b0.
  5. ^ a b Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). "(914) Palisana". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (914) Palisana. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 82. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_915. ISBN 978-3-540-29925-7.
  6. ^ a b "Johann Palisa". Britannica.com. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  7. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). "(235) Carolina". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (235) Carolina. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 36. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_236. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3.
  8. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). "(250) Bettina". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (250) Bettina. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 37. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_251. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3.
  9. ^ "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: C/1879 Q1 (Palisa)". Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  10. ^ Williams, David R. (18 December 2001). "NEAR Flyby of Asteroid 253 Mathilde". NASA. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  11. ^ Barnard, E. E. (1898), "Development of photography in astronomy", Popular Astronomy, 6: 425–455, retrieved 28 April 2019
  12. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). "(734) Benda". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (734) Benda. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 70. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_735. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3.
  13. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). "(996) Hilaritas". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (996) Hilaritas. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 86. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_997. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3.
  14. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). "(320) Katharina". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (320) Katharina. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 42. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_321. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3.
  15. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). "(321) Florentina". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (321) Florentina. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 42. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_322. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3.
  16. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). "(710) Gertrud". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (710) Gertrud. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 68. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_711. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3.
  17. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). "(902) Probitas". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (902) Probitas. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 81. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_903. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3.
  18. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). "(1152) Pawona". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (1152) Pawona. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 97. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_1153. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3.

External linksEdit

ObituariesEdit