Asaph Hall

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Asaph Hall
BirthplaceGoshen, Connecticut
Known for Discovery of 2 Martian moons

Hall, Asaph


Born Oct. 15, 1829, in Goshen, Conn.; died Nov. 22, 1907, in Annapolis, Md. American astronomer. Member of the National Academy of Sciences (1875).

From 1857 to 1862, Hall worked as an assistant at the Harvard University Observatory, and from 1862 to 1891 he was an astronomer at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. He was a member of the faculty at Harvard University from 1896 to 1901. Hall is known for his observations of asteroids, binary stars, and the planets and their satellites. In 1876 he determined Saturn’s period of rotation, and in 1877 he discovered the satellites of Mars. Hall worked to develop a theory of the motions of the planets and their satellites.


“On the Determination of the Mass of Mars.” Astronomische Nachrichten, 1875, vol. 86, pp. 327–37.
“On the Rotation of Saturn.” Ibid., 1877, vol. 90.
“The Harvard Observation of the Satellite of Neptune in 1847 and 1848.” Astronomical Journal, 1900, vol. 20.
“The Problem of Three Bodies.” Ibid., 1901, vol. 21.
References in periodicals archive ?
The detection of two satellites of Mars by Asaph Hall made a major contribution to astronomy.
Asaph Hall discovered Phobos and Deimos, two small companions of the planet Mars, 135 years ago.
In 1726 Jonathan Swift penned the masterpiece known today as Gulliver' s Travels In it, inhabitants of the flying island of Laputa describe their discovery of two moons of Mars that, amazingly, turned out to be much like the real ones spotted I % centuries later by American astronomer Asaph Hall.