Johann Gottfried Galle

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Galle, Johann Gottfried


Born June 9, 1812, in Pabsthaus; died July 10, 1910, in Potsdam. German astronomer.

Galle was director of an observatory and a university professor in Breslau (Wroclaw, 1851-95). In 1872 he established the identity of the Andromedids, a swarm of meteors, with the debris of Biela’s Comet. He discovered three comets (1839-40) and the Krepp (inner) ring of Saturn (1838). He also refined the parallax of the sun (8.87″). In 1847, Galle compiled a survey table of the elements of 178 comets for the period from 371 B.C. (with historical references). Using coordinates calculated by Leverrier, he discovered the planet Neptune on Sept. 23, 1846.


Nevinskaia, A. M. “Iogann Gotfrid Galle.” Izv. Russkogo astronomicheskogo obshchestva, 1910, issue 16, no. 7.
Pannekoek, A. Istoriia astronomii. Moscow, 1966. (Translated from English.)


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Neptune wasn't officially discovered until 1846 by Johann Gottfried Galle.
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