Gould, Benjamin Apthorp

Gould, Benjamin Apthorp

(1824–96) astronomer; born in Boston, Mass. Son of the principal of the Boston Latin School, he graduated from Harvard and studied in Germany. He founded the Astronomical Journal (1849) and worked with the U.S. Coast Survey (1852–67). His major interest was in the stars of the southern hemisphere and to this end he helped found the National Observatory in Cordoba, Argentina (1865). Serving as its director (1870–85), he headed a staff that catalogued thousands of stars. On returning to the U.S.A., he spent his final years measuring the star clusters he had photographed there. His Uranometry of the Southern Heavens complemented star studies of the northern hemisphere.

Gould, Benjamin Apthorp


Born Sept. 27, 1824, in Boston, Mass.; died Nov. 26, 1896, in Cambridge, Mass. American astronomer.

Gould graduated from Harvard University in 1844 and founded and directed the longitude department of the Coast Survey (1852–67). At the same time he was director of an observatory in Albany (1855–59). In 1849 he founded the American Astronomical Journal. From 1870 to 1875 he was director of the National Observatory in Cordoba (Argentina), which he founded. He also organized Argentina’s first meteorological survey. His principal works include Uranometria argentina (1879). with an atlas of 10,649 southern stars up to the seventh magnitude, a zone catalog of 73,160 stars (1884), and a general catalog compiled from meridian observations of 32,448 stars (1885). Gould called attention (1879) to a ring of bright stars (known as the Gould Belt) encircling the celestial sphere. This ring later proved to be a local system of our galaxy.


Pannekoek, A. Istoriia astronomii. Moscow, 1966. Pages 497 and 533. (Translated from English.)


Mentioned in ?