The Bruce Medalists


  Photo courtesy Yerkes Observatory, University of Chicago
Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli
14 March 1835 1902 Bruce Medalist 4 July 1910

Giovanni Schiaparelli was born in Piedmont and studied hydraulic engineering and civil architecture at the University of Turin and then astronomy at the observatories at Berlin and Pulkovo. He worked at the Brera Observatory in Milan for forty years, all but the first two as director. Although a major observer of double stars, he is best known for his observations of solar system objects. In 1861 he achieved some fame for discovering the minor planet Hesperia. He made extensive studies, both observational and theoretical, of comets, determining from the shapes of their tails that there was a repulsive force from the sun. He showed that Venus and Mercury rotate very slowly, although he concluded, erroneously, that they were in synchronous rotation. He explained the regular meteor showers as the result of the dissolution of comets and proved it for the Perseids. Schiaparelli observed Mars over seven oppositions and named the “seas” and “continents”. His observations of canali, mistranslated as canals, stimulated Percival Lowell to found his Arizona observatory and search for life on Mars. Schiaparelli also observed the other planets. Expert in both ancient and modern languages as well as religions, he took up the history of ancient astronomy after retiring from observing in 1900.

Presentation of Bruce medal
Dolbeer, John, PASP 14, 37-42 (1902).

Other awards
French Academy of Sciences, Lalande Prize, 1868, 1890.
Government of Germany, Order Pour le Merite for Arts and Sciences, 1895.
Italian Society of Science, Gold Medal, 1868.
Royal Astronomical Society, Gold medal, 1872.

Biographical materials
All'astronomo G.V. Schiaparelli: omaggio 30 giugno 1860 - 30 giugno 1900 (M. Bassani, Milano, 1900). This book includes a biblography of his writings to 1900.
Abetti, Giorgio, Dictionary of Scientific Biography 12, 159-62.
Istituto lombardo-acc. scienze lettere, Milano & Osservatorio astronomico di Brera, Milano, Atti del Convegno per le celebrazioni del cinquantenario della morte di G. V. Schiaparelli, (Milano, 1960).
Bianucci, Piero, “Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli,” L’Astronomia 6 45-48 (1980).
Boccardi, Jean, “La Commémoration de Jean Schiaparelli,”Revue Général des Sciences Pures et Appliquées 46, 379-82 (1935).
Botta, Luigi, l'Astronomo Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli [includes extensive list of links, in Italian]
Brera Observatory (in Italian)
Cossavella, G. , L’Astronomo Giovanni Schiaparelli (Turin, 1914).
Doublet, E., “Le Centenaire de Giovanni Schiaparelli,” Ciel et Terre 52, 50 and 52, 82-86 (1936) [in French].
Fergola, E., et al, All’Astronomo G.V. Schiaparelli-Omaggio, 30 Giugno 1860–30 Giugno 1900 (Milan, 1900).
Gabba, Luigi, “Giovanni Schiaparelli e la storia dell’astronomia,” Rendic. Seminar, Mat. Fis. Milano 2, 121-38 (1928).
Gabba, Luigi, Schiaparelli (La Scuola, Brescia, 194?).
Mazzucato, Michele T., “Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli,” JRASC 100, 114-17 (2006).
Mazzucato, Michele T., “Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli: Fonti per una ricerca,” — includes timeline and bibliography (in Italian).
Mazzucato, Michele T., Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli: Centenario della morte, 1910-2010 (Edizioni Tassinari, Firenze, 2010) [in Italian].
Panaino, Antonio & Guido Pellegini, eds., Giovanni Schiaparelli: Storico della Astronomia e Uomo di Cultura. Atti del Seminario di Studi Organizzato dall’Instituto Italiano per l’Africa e l’Oriente e dall’Instituto di Fisica Generale Applicata dell’Università degli Studi di Milano, (Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, Milano, 1999).
Schiaparelli and His Legacy: Symposium: Milano, Oct 19-20, Torino Oct 21, 2010. On the Centenary of His Death.
Tenn, Joseph S., “Giovanni Schiaparelli: The Fourth Bruce Medalist,” Mercury 19, 4, 116 (1990).
Zagar, Francesco, “Giovanni Schiaparelli nel Cinquantenario Della Morte ,” Contributi dell'Osservatorio Astronomico di Milano-Merate. Nuova serie, n. 161 (Prem. Tipografia Succ., Milano, 1960).

Abetti, A. & G. , Ap.J. 32, 313-19 (1910).
Aitken, Robert G., PASP 22, 164-65 (1910).
Bonacini, Carlo, Commemorazione Di Giovanni Schiaparelli (Società Tipografica Modenese, Modena, 1911).
Celoria, Giovanni, Giovanni Schiaparelli : brevi note commemorative (Tipo-Lit. Rebeschini di Turati, Milano, 1910).
Celoria, Giovanni, Scientia Rivista di Scienza 9, 169-185 (1911).
K[nobel], E. B., MNRAS 71, 282-87 (1911).
MacPherson, H.J., Popular Astronomy 18, 467-74 (1910).
Sampson, R.A, Proceedings of the Royal Society A 86, 37-38 (1911-12).

Botta,Luigi, l'Astronomo Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli (several)
Burchill, Shirley, The Open Door Web Site
CollectSpace, Postage stamp issued on centennial of death
Getty Images
Library of Congress: autographed drawing by Robert Kastor
Philosophy of Science Portal, 16 March 2009
Schiaparelli at age 30 from the book by G. Peyretti, Il sommo astronomo Virginio Giovanni Schiaparelli glorificato nella sua città natia. Brevi cenni a ricordo dellinaugurazione del monumento che ne eterna la gloriosa memoria — 15 novembre 1925 (Stab. Tip. Sociale, Savigliano CN, 1925), courtesy Michele T. Mazzucato.
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Windows to the Universe

Named after him
Lunar crater Schiaparelli
Martian crater Schiaparelli
Mercurian ridge Schiaparelli
Minor Planet #4062 Schiaparelli
Istituto Tecnico Commerciale Statale e P.A.C.L.E. Giovanni Schiaparelli
Schiaparelli Tower
La Grotta Schiaparelli (Schiaparelli Cave)
Osservatorio Astronomico G. V. Schiaparelli

More references

The Bruce Medalists

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