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AngeloSecchiWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

AngeloSecchi
FromWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

Fr.PietroAngeloSecchiSJ(Italianpronunciation:[pjtro
andelosekki]29June181826February1878)wasan
Italianastronomer.HewasDirectoroftheObservatoryatthe
PontificalGregorianUniversity(thencalledtheRoman
College)for28years.Hewasapioneerinastronomical
spectroscopy,andwasoneofthefirstscientiststostate
authoritativelythattheSunisastar.

AngeloSecchi

Contents
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Biography
Astronomicalworks
Otherscientificandtechnicalwork
Heritage
Seealso
Works(incomplete)
References
Sources
Externallinks

Biography

Born

29June1818
ReggioEmilia

Died

26February1878(aged59)

Residence

Rome

Nationality

Italian

SecchiwasborninReggioEmilia,wherehestudiedatthe
Fields
Astronomy
Jesuitgymnasium.Attheageof16,heenteredtheJesuit
Institutions
ObservatoryoftheRomanCollege
OrderinRome.HecontinuedhisstudiesattheRoman
College,anddemonstratedgreatscientificability.In1839,he Notable
Lgiond'honneur,France
wasappointedtutorofmathematicsandphysicsatthe
awards
College.In1841,hebecameProfessorofPhysicsatthe
JesuitCollegeinLoreto.In1844,hebegantheologicalstudiesinRome,andwasordainedaprieston12
September1847.In1848,duetotheRomanRevolution,theJesuitshadtoleaveRome.Fr.Secchispentthe
nexttwoyearsintheUnitedKingdomatStonyhurstCollege,andtheUnitedStates,wherehetaughtforatime
atGeorgetownUniversityinWashington,DC.Healsotookhisdoctoralexaminationintheologythere.[1]
DuringhisstayinAmerica,hemetCommanderMatthewFontaineMaury,thefirstDirectoroftheUnited
StatesNavalObservatoryinWashington.HestudiedwithMauryandcorrespondedwithhimformanyyears.[1]
HereturnedtoRomein1850.OntherecommendationofhislatecolleagueFrancescodeVico,hebecamehead
oftheObservatoryoftheCollegeatage32.In1853,underhisdirection,thecrumblingObservatorywas
relocatedtoanewfacilityontopoftheSant'IgnazioChurch(thechapeloftheCollege).[2]Secchiservedas
Directoruntilhisdeath.
Hispositionwaschallengedafter1870,whentheremnantofthePapalStatesaroundRomewastakenoverby
theKingdomofItaly.In1873,theCollegewasdeclaredpropertyoftheItaliangovernment.Whenthe
governmentmovedtotakeovertheObservatoryaswell,Secchiprotestedvigorously,andthreatenedtoleave
theObservatoryforoneofseveralpositionsofferedtohimbyforeignobservatories.Hewasofferedimportant
scientificpositionsandpoliticaldignitiesbythegovernment,butrefusedtopledgeallegiancetotheKingdom
inplaceofthePope.Theroyalgovernmentdidnotdaretointerferewithhim,andhecontinuedasDirector.[1]
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Hediedin1878atage59,inRome.

Astronomicalworks
Secchimadecontributionstomanyareasofastronomy.
HerevisedFriedrichGeorgWilhelmvonStruve'scatalogof
doublestars,compilingdataforover10,000binaries.
Hediscoveredthreecomets,includingCometSecchi.
HeproducedanexactmapofthelunarcraterCopernicus.
HedrewsomeofthefirstcolorillustrationsofMarsandwasthe
firsttodescribe"channels"(canaliinItalian)ontheplanetary
surface.[3]
SecchiwasespeciallyinterestedintheSun,whichheobserved
continuallythroughouthiscareer.
Heobservedandmadedrawingsofsolareruptionsandsunspots,
andcompiledrecordsofsunspotactivity.
In1860and1870,heorganizedexpeditionstoobservesolar
eclipses.
Heprovedthatthesolarcoronaandcoronalprominences
observedduringasolareclipsewerepartoftheSun,andnot
artifactsoftheeclipse.
Hediscoveredsolarspicules.

bustbyGiuseppePrinziatPincio,
Rome

However,hismainareaofinterestwasastronomicalspectroscopy.Heinventedtheheliospectrograph,star
spectrograph,andtelespectroscope.HeshowedthatcertainabsorptionlinesinthespectrumoftheSunwere
causedbyabsorptionintheEarth'satmosphere.
Startingin1863,hebegancollectingthespectraofstars,accumulatingsome4,000stellarspectrograms.
Throughanalysisofthisdata,hediscoveredthatthestarscomeinalimitednumberofdistincttypesand
subtypes,whichcouldbedistinguishedbytheirdifferentspectralpatterns.Fromthisconcept,hedevelopedthe
firstsystemofstellarclassification:thefiveSecchiclasses.WhilehissystemwassupersededbytheHarvard
system,hestillstandsasdiscovereroftheprincipleofstellarclassification,whichisafundamentalelementof
astrophysics.Hisrecognitionofmolecularbandsofcarbonradicalsinthespectraofsomestarsmadehimthe
discovererofcarbonstars,whichmadeoneofhisspectralclasses.

Otherscientificandtechnicalwork
Secchiwasactiveinoceanography,meteorology,andphysics,aswellasastronomy.
HeinventedtheSecchidisk,whichisusedtomeasurewatertransparencyinoceans,lakesandfishfarms.He
studiedtheclimateofRomeandinventeda"Meteorograph"fortheconvenientrecordingofseveralcategories
ofweatherdata.Healsostudiedtheauroraborealis,theeffectsoflightning,andthecauseofhail.Heorganized
thesystematicmonitoringoftheEarth'smagneticfield,andin1858establishedaMagneticObservatoryin
Rome.
SecchialsoperformedrelatedtechnicalworksforthePapalgovernment,suchasoverseeingplacementof
sundialsandrepairorinstallationofmunicipalwatersystems.In18541855,hesupervisedanexactsurveyof
theAppianWayinRome.ThissurveywaslaterusedinthetopographicmappingofItaly.Hesupervised
constructionoflighthousesfortheportsofthePapalStates.In1858,hetraveledtoFranceandGermanyto
procurethenecessaryprojectionlenses.

Heritage
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ThelunarcraterSecchiandtheMartiancraterSecchiarebothnamedafterhim,asisamainbeltasteroid,4705
Secchi.
ThetwoSTEREO(SolarTErrestrialRElationsObservatory)spacecrafteachcarryaninstrumentpackage
calledSECCHI(SunEarthConnectionCoronalandHeliosphericInvestigation).

Seealso
ListofJesuitscientists
ListofRomanCatholicscientistclerics

Works(incomplete)
Duringhiscareer,Fr.Secchipublishedabout730papersinscientific
journals.Healsopublishedanumberofbooks.
MisuraDellaBaseTrigonometrieaEseguitaSullaViaAppia
(MeasurementoftheTrigonometricBasePerformedOntheVia
Appia).Rome.1858.
IlQuadroFisicodelSistemaSolareSecondolePiuRecenti
Osservazioni(ThePhysicalFrameworkoftheSolarSystem
AccordingtotheMostRecentObservations).Rome.1859.
SuiRecentiProgressidellaMeteorologia(OnTheRecent
AdvancesInMeteorology).Rome.1861.
SullaUnitdelleForzeFisiche(OntheUnityofPhysicalForces).
Rome.1864.
LeSoleil:ExposdesPrincipalesDcouvertesModernes(The
Sun:PresentationoftheMajorModernDiscoveries).Paris.1870.
LeStelle(TheStars).Milan.1877.
LezioniElementaridiFisicaTerrestre(ElementaryLessonsIn
TerrestrialPhysics).TurinAndRome.1879.

References
1.Pohle1913.
2.Chisholm1911.
3.Bakich,MichaelE.(2000).TheCambridgeplanetaryhandbook.
CambridgeUniversityPress.p.198.ISBN0521632803.

LeSoleil:ExposdesPrincipales
DcouvertesModernes(TheSun:
PresentationoftheMajorModern
Discoveries).Cover

Attribution
Chisholm,Hugh,ed.(1911)."Secchi,Angelo".EncyclopdiaBritannica(11thed.).Cambridge
UniversityPress.
Pohle,J.(1913)."AngeloSecchi".InHerbermann,Charles.CatholicEncyclopedia.NewYork:Robert
AppletonCompany.

Sources
"AngeloSecchi".CatholicEncyclopedia.NewAdvent.Retrieved1October2008.
Maffeo,Fr.Sabino,SJ(1991).IntheServiceofNinePopes:100YearsoftheVaticanObervatory.trans.
Fr.GeorgeCoyne,SJ.CittdelVaticano(VaticanCity):SpecolaVaticana.ISBN8877610468.
https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Catholic_Encyclopedia_%281913%29/Angelo_Secchi
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angelo_Secchi

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Externallinks
WorkswrittenbyoraboutPietroAngeloSecchiatWikisource
Retrievedfrom"https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Angelo_Secchi&oldid=723765128"
Categories: 1818births 1878deaths PeoplefromReggioEmilia Italianastronomers ItalianJesuits
Italianmeteorologists RomanCatholicclericscientists PeopleeducatedatStonyhurstCollege
ForeignMembersoftheRoyalSociety MembersoftheFrenchAcademyofSciences
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