Franz Xaver von Zach

Franz Xaver von Zach

Infobox Scientist
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caption = Franz Xaver, Baron Von Zach
birth_date = June 4, 1754
birth_place = Pest
death_date = September 2, 1832
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nationality = Hungary
ethnicity =
field = astronomy
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Baron Franz Xaver von Zach ("Franz Xaver Freiherr von Zach") (June 4, 1754–September 2, 1832) was a Hungarian astronomer born at Pest.

He served for some time in the Austrian army, and afterwards lived in London from 1783 to 1786 as tutor in the house of the Saxon minister, Count Brühl. In 1786 he was appointed by Ernest II, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg director of the new observatory on the Seeberg at Gotha, which was finished in 1791. At the close of the 18th century, he organised a group of twenty-four astronomers to prepare for a systematic search for the "missing planet" predicted by the Titius-Bode law between Mars and Jupiter. Ironically, Ceres was discovered by accident just as the search was getting underway. From 1806 Zach accompanied the duke's widow on her travels in the south of Europe. He died in Paris in 1832.

Zach published "Tables of the Sun" (Gotha, 1792; new and improved edition, "ibid.", 1804), and numerous papers on geographical subjects, particularly on the geographical positions of many towns and places, which he determined on his travels with a sextant.

His principal importance was, however, as editor of three scientific journals of great value: "Allgemeine Geographische Ephemeriden" (4 vols., Gotha, 1798-1799), "Monatliche Correspondenz zur Beförderung der Erd- und Himmels-Kunde" (28 vols., Gotha, 1800-1813, from 1807 edited by B. von Lindenau), and " _fr. Correspondance astronomique, geographique, hydrographique, et statistique" (Genoa, 1818-1826, 14 vols., and one number of the 15th, the suppression of which was instigated by the Jesuits).

Asteroid 999 Zachia and Zach crater on the moon are named after him, while asteroid 64 Angelina is named after an astronomical station he set up near Marseille.

References

*
* "Brosche, P.: Der Astronom der Herzogin, Acta Historica Astronomiae Vol. 12, Verlag Harri Deutsch, Frankfurt am Main 2001" ISBN 978-3-8171-1656-0
* "Cunningham, C. (2004): The Collected Correspondence of Baron Franz von Zach, Vol. 1: Letters with Sniadecki" ISBN 0-9708162-4-3
* Cunningham, C. (2006): The Collected Correspondence of Baron Franz von Zach, Vol. 2: Letters with Schedius" ISBN 0-9708162-7-8
* Vargha, M., 2005: Franz Xaver von Zach (1754-1832). His Life and Times. Konkoly Obs. Monographs No. 5, Budapest.
*Citation
id = PMID:9847463
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9847463
last=Gosteli
first=L
last2=Boschung
first2=U
last3=Brosche
first3=P
publication-date=1998
year=1998
title= [Astronomer, world citizen, bladder calculus patient. Franz Xaver von Zach's letters to Rudolf Abraham von Schiferli 1821-1832]
volume=45
issue=
periodical=Gesnerus. Supplement
pages=1-382


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