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Systems and Catalogues of Proper Motions

  • W. Fricke
Conference paper
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 22)

Abstract

Up to the second half of the 19th century astronomical research was almost exclusively based on the measurement of positions of celestial objects. F. W. Bessel (1784–1846), who considered the study of the motions of celestial bodies as the most essential part of astronomy, suggested “that observations should be made and repeated as many times as necessary to secure the orbits of the stars in space with such precision that their positions can be predicted for any arbitrary instant of time”. The most valuable measurements of stellar positions available to Bessel were those made by Bradley and Maskelyne at Greenwich. Bessel’s first great work (1818) was the reduction and publication of Bradley’s observations from 1750–1762; the catalogue of 3222 stars is titled Fundamenta Astronomiae. Then Bessel made many thousands of measurements of stellar positions with a transit circle at Koenigsberg. The measurements carried out by Bradley, Maskelyne, and by Bessel form pioneer work in the derivation of accurate proper motions.

Keywords

Proper Motion Galactic Rotation Reference Star Vernal Equinox Instrumental Series 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Fricke
    • 1
  1. 1.Astronomisches Rechen-InstitutHeidelbergGermany

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