Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, JoAnn Palmeri, Daniel W. E. Green

Cerulli, Vincenzo

Reference work entry

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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Selected References

  1. Anon (1927). “Vincenzo, Cerulli.” Observatory 50: 231.Google Scholar
  2. Cerulli, Vincenzo (1898). Marte nel 1896–9. Teramo, Italy: privately published.Google Scholar
  3. — (1900). Nuove osservazione di Marte (1898–1899). Teramo, Italy: privately published.Google Scholar
  4. Horn-d’Arturo, Guido (1959). “Elogio di Vincenzo Cerulli (1859–1927).” Note e communicazioni, no. 38. Teramo, Italy: Osservatorio Astronomico Vencenzo Cerulli. (Contains a very nice portrait of Cerulli.)Google Scholar
  5. Maggini, Mentore (1927). “Vincenzo Cerulli.” Memorie de la Società astronomica italiana 4: 171–187.ADSGoogle Scholar
  6. Sheehan, William (1988). Planets and Perception: Telescopic Views and Interpretations, 1609–1909. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lowell ObservatoryFlagstaffUSA