James Ferguson (American astronomer)

James Ferguson
James Ferguson
Born (1797-08-31)August 31, 1797
Died September 26, 1867(1867-09-26) (aged 70)
Nationality United States
Fields astronomy
Notable awards Lalande Prize (1854)

James Ferguson (August 31, 1797 – September 26, 1867) was an American astronomer and engineer (he helped build the Erie canal) born in Scotland who made the first discovery of an asteroid from North America (31 Euphrosyne). Starting in 1847, he worked at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, DC.[1]

The asteroid 1745 Ferguson, discovered from the same observatory, was later named in his honour.

In 1850, he "lost" a star that he had been observing, which Lt. Matthew Maury, the superintended of the Observatory, claimed was evidence for a 9th planet (Pluto had not yet been discovered). In 1878, however, CHF Peters, director of the Hamilton College Observatory in New York, showed that the star had not in fact vanished, and that the previous results had been due to human error.[2]

Asteroids discovered: 3
31 Euphrosyne September 1, 1854
50 Virginia October 4, 1857
60 Echo September 14, 1860

References

  1. ^ "The Observatory, Vol. 30". 1907. pp. 352–353. Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
  2. ^ Morton Grosser (1964). "The Search For A Planet Beyond Neptune". Isis 55 (2): 163–183.  


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.