. On this day in 1809 – April 4th – American astronomer and mathematician Benjamin Peirce was born in Salem, Massachusetts.
He graduated from Harvard University where he also obtained his M.A.. Peirce was appointed Harvard’s first Perkins Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy. He played a key role in the development of the Harvard College Observatory and carried out a great deal of important observational work, including helping to determine the orbital path of the newly discovered planet Neptune.
. On this day in 1914 – April 4th – Czech astronomer Zdeněk Kopal was born in Litomyšl, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic).
In 1938 he studied in England at Cambridge under Arthur Eddington, and later that year accepted a teaching post at Harvard College Observatory. In order to ensure good quality maps of the Moon for the Apollo program, Kopal organised a USAF-funded programme designed to map the Moon from the Earth using high resolution imagery. He was head of astronomy at the University of Manchester for 30 years and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Astrophysics and Space Science from its foundation in 1968 until his death in 1993.
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