The Johann Bode Biography and Astronomy


The Johann Bode Biography is important because of Bode's law. Who was Johann Bode? I'm glad you asked! Johann Elert Bode was a German astronomer best known for Bode's law, also called the Titus-Bode law.

The Titus-Bode law

The Titus-Bode law is a mathematical rule about the relationship between the mean distances of each of the planets to the Sun. Why is it called the Titus-Bode law? Who is this guy Titus? Johann Daniel Titus was actually the first person to discover the rule. He discovered the rule in 1766, but he wasn't given much credit for it. The rule was reformulated and made popular in 1772 by Johann Elert Bode when he published it.

Johann Bode's Background

The Johann Bode Biography began on January 19th, 1747 when he was born in Hamburg, Germany. He was later hired by the Berlin Academy of Sciences as a calculator and he was also the director of the observatory. He co-founded the German language ephemeris called the Astronomisches Jahrbuch oder Ephemeriden which translates as “Astronomical Yearbook and Ephemeris”, in 1774. An ephemeris is any device that calculates the positions of astronomical objects.

Johann Bode's discoveries

Bode began to watch the night sky looking for star clusters and nebulae in 1774. he found 20 of them in a year, 3 of which were newly discovered. On December 31, 1774 he discovered M81 and M82, and M53 he discovered on February 3, 1775. He also discovered an asterism. He also made several discoveries from 1777 to 1779. One of these discoveries was a comet.

Johann Bode names a new planet

Uranus is important in the Johann Bode Biography too. Johann Bode was the man who gave the planet its name, even though it was William Herschel who actually discovered Uranus. Herschel wanted to name the newly discovered planet “Georgium Sidus” in honor of King George the 3rd. I guess people thought the name Uranus sounded better.

Bode took great interest in the new planet he named. He collected various accounts of observations of Uranus by astronomers worldwide and published them in Astronomisches Jahrbuch. During his research, bode found that a few other people had seen the new planet before its official discovery. Among those who witnessed the planet were Tobias Mayer in 1756, and Flamsteed in December of 1690.

Bode publishes Uranographia

In 1801 he published a popular star atlas called Uranographia which contained several unique star formations, but none of them are recognized today.

Johann Bode dies

Just a year after he retired as director of the Berlin observatory, Johann Bode died. The Johann Bode Biography ended on November 23, 1826 in Berlin, Germany.

A final word

Johann Bode might not have always been right or accurate in his observations, but he still managed to make his mark on the field of Astronomy. The Titus-Bode law is his most important contribution to Astronomy, but it's not the only one. After all, how many of us can say we discovered a comet, or named a planet? Johann Bode can.



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