Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, JoAnn Palmeri, Daniel W. E. Green

Porro de’ Somenzi, Francesco

  • Sandra Ciccone
Reference work entry

BornCremona, Italy, 5 May 1861

DiedGenoa, Italy, 16 February 1937

Francesco Porro de’ Somenzi was an Italian astronomer and prolific author of textbooks. He is perhaps best known for his reduction of the star catalogue of Giuseppe Piazzi.

Francesco’s parents were Giovanni Porro and Maria Bonali. He graduated in physics at Pavia in 1882 and, in the same year, became a student astronomer at the Brera Observatory (Milan), directed by  Giovanni Schiaparelli. In 1885, he was employed as an astronomer at Turin Observatory, where, after the death of director Alessandro Dorna (1825–1887), he was appointed director of the Observatory and professor of astronomy at Turin University. Porro managed the construction of a new astronomical observation station at Superga, in the Turin hills, and worked on the construction of a new observatory in Pino Torinese (Turin).

In 1901, Porro moved to Genoa where he held the chairs of geodesy and astronomy at the university. Later, in 1905, on Schiaparelli’s...

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Selected References

  1. Anon. (1937). “Obituary.” Bollettino dell’Unione Matematica Italiana 16: 168.Google Scholar
  2. Balestri, R. (1997). “Francesco Porro e l’osservatorio meteorologico e astronomico dell’Università di Genova” (Francesco Porro and the meteorological and astronomical Observatory of Genoa University). Memorie Società Astronomica Italiana 68, no. 3: 597–616.ADSGoogle Scholar
  3. Barbieri, U. (1937). “Francesco Porro de Somenzi.” Annuario della Regia Università di Genova 1936–37: 397–399.Google Scholar
  4. Carnera, L. (1951–1953). “Ricordi di un astronomo quasi ottuagenario” (Memories of an almost octogenarian astronomer). Coelum 19: 1–6; Coelum 21: 82–84; 108–114.Google Scholar
  5. Proverbio, E. (1988). “The third reduction of Giuseppe Piazzi’s star catalogue.” In Mapping the Sky: Past Heritage and Future Directions. Proceedings of the 133rd Symposium of the International Astronomical Union, held in Paris, France, June 1–5, 1987, edited by S. Débarbat, et al., 75–86. Dordrecht and Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  6. Tricomi, F. (1962). “Matematici italiani del primo secolo dello stato unitario” (Italian mathematicians of the first century of the Unitary State). In Memorie dellAccademia delle Scienze di Torino, Classe di Scienze fisiche matematiche e naturali, series 4, no. 1: 1–119.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Università del MoliseCampobassoItaly