Reference Work Entry

Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

pp 251-253


Bode, Johann Elert


BornHamburg, (Germany), 19 January 1747

DiedBerlin, (Germany), 23 November 1826

Bode, Johann Elert. Courtesy of History of Science Collections, University of Oklahoma Libraries

Johann Bode directed the observatory of the Royal Academy of Sciences (Berlin), helped to publicize an important “law” regarding the planets’ distances from the Sun, and published an important reference work (the Astronomisches Jarhbuch) for more than 50 years. He was the son of Johann Jakob Bode and his wife Anna Margarete (née Kruse).

Following a basic education at his father’s business school, Bode acquired an astronomical proficiency on his own, putting to good use the encouragement provided by several local citizens. On the strength of his early publications, he was offered an appointment (1772) at Berlin by Johann Lambert as calculator for the Astronomisches Jahrbuch, to be issued by the Royal Academy of Sciences. Following Lambert’s death in 1777, Bode took over as editor of the yearbook. In 1786, he became a ...

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