BornTeramo, (Abruzzo, Italy), 26 April 1859
DiedMerate, (Lombardy), Italy, 30 May 1927
Vincenzo Cerulli’s vast wealth enabled him to establish a private observatory near Teramo, Italy, where he first proposed his optical theory to explain the observations of canals on Mars. This examination of the processes of vision and perception in the rendering of planetary detail entailed a pioneering investigation of the use of the human eye as a scientific instrument.
Cerulli’s parents belonged to the most prominent and wealthy families of the Teramo region. He studied physics under Lorenzo Resphigi at the University of Rome, graduating in 1881. He then spent 4 years in Germany, where he received training at the observatories in Bonn and Berlin, and at the Rechen Institut, where he learned methods of orbital calculation. After serving as a volunteer astronomer at the Collegio Romano in Rome under its director Pietro Taccini, Cerulli returned to Teramo. Not having to worry about means of...
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