Memoir

Benjamin Apthorp Gould

September 27, 1824 - November 26, 1896


Election Year: 1863
Scientific Discipline: Astronomy
Membership Type: Member

Benjamin Apthorp Gould, an astronomer, was active in securing the establishment of the National Academy of Sciences. Gould's early work was done in Germany, where he published approximately twenty papers on the observation and motion of comets and asteroids. After a controversial tenure administering the Dudley Observatory in Schenectady, New York, Gould in 1861 undertook the enormous task of preparing for publication the records of astronomical observations made at the U.S. Naval Observatory since 1850. But Gould's greatest work was his mapping of the stars of the southern skies, begun in 1870. The four-year endeavor involved the use of the recently developed photometric method, and upon the publication of its results in 1879, it was received as a significant contribution to science.

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