Galle, Johann Gottfried

Galle, Johann Gottfried

(yō`hän gôt`frēt gä`lə), 1812–1910, German astronomer. He is noted for his discovery of the planet Neptune, Sept. 23, 1846, by following the guidance of calculations by Le VerrierLe Verrier, Urbain Jean Joseph
, 1811–77, French astronomer who made calculations that led to the discovery of the planet Neptune. In considering the perturbations of Uranus, Le Verrier made calculations indicating the presence of an unknown planet in an orbit outside that
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. Galle was then a member of the staff of the Berlin Observatory and had discovered three comets. In 1851 he became professor of astronomy at Breslau and director of the observatory there. His particular field of research was meteorology.
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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 In 1847, Galle compiled a survey table of the elements of 178 comets for the period from 371 B.C. (with historical references).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.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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