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Johann Palisa
Johann Palisa.jpg
Born (1848-12-06)December 6, 1848
Died May 2, 1925(1925-05-02) (aged 76)
Nationality Austrian
Known for asteroids
Awards Lalande Prize, 1876
Valz Prize, 1906
Scientific career
Fields astronomy
Institutions University of Vienna

Johann Palisa (December 6, 1848 – May 2, 1925) was an Austrian astronomer, born in Troppau in Austrian Silesia (now in the Czech Republic).

He was a prolific discoverer of asteroids, discovering 122 in all, from 136 Austria in 1874 to 1073 Gellivara in 1923. Some of his notable discoveries include 153 Hilda, 216 Kleopatra, 243 Ida, 253 Mathilde, 324 Bamberga, and the Amor asteroid 719 Albert.

He was awarded the Valz Prize from the French Academy of Sciences in 1906. The Phocaea main-belt asteroid 914 Palisana, discovered by Max Wolf in 1919, and the lunar crater Palisa were named in his honour.

Early work

Johann Palisa Plaque
Johann Palisa Plaque

From 1866 to 1870, Palisa studied mathematics and astronomy at the University of Vienna; however, he did not graduate until 1884. Despite this, by 1870 he was an assistant at the University's observatory, and a year later gained a position at the observatory in Geneva.

A few years later, in 1872, at the age of 24, Palisa became the leader of the Austrian Naval Observatory in Pola. While at Pola, he found his first asteroid, 136 Austria, on March 18, 1874. Along with this, he found twenty-seven minor planets and one comet. During his stay in Pola he used a small six-inch refractor telescope to aid in his research.

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