|Died||27 June 1825|
|Known for||discovery of variable stars|
Edward Pigott (1753 – 27 June 1825) was an English astronomer, and the son of astronomer Nathaniel Pigott (1725–1804) and Anna Mathurine de Bériot (1727–1792). Probably born in Whitton, Middlesex, his elder brother, Charles Gregory, died in young age. He also had a younger sister, Mathurina (born 1761). He lived in England, France and Wales.
Working as an astronomer with his father, he observed Jupiter's satellites and, from a station near Caen (Normandy, France), the transit of Venus of 3 June 1769. On 23 March 1779, from Frampton House, Glamorganshire, he discovered a nebula in Coma Berenices, which later became known as M64. This discovery occurred just 12 days before that by Bode and roughly a year before Charles Messier's independent rediscovery of the same object. Perhaps because of its late publication, Pigott's original discovery fell more or less forgotten and his "nebula" was apparently never identified, until Bryn Jones of Wales recovered it in April 2002. Edward Pigott discovered the Great comet of 1783 from York on 19 November 1783. This comet was independently found by Pierre Méchain on 26 November and observed by several astronomers including Charles Messier.
On 10 September 1784 Edward Pigott detected the variability of Eta Aquilae, then known as "Eta Antinoi", and the first known representative of a class of variable stars later called Delta Cephei stars or, perhaps somewhat misleadingly, "Cepheids". This discovery occurred at a time when roughly a dozen variables were known, of which all but 6 were novae or supernovae.
In the following years, Pigott worked with his neighbour and friend, John Goodricke. Goodricke is reported to have died in 1786 from pneumonia he caught when observing Delta Cephei. Pigott died in Bath, England on 27 June 1825.
Edward Pigott, together with his father, Nathaniel Pigott, was honoured by having an asteroid named after him: . Asteroid 10220 Pigott, discovered on 20 October 1997 by Roy A. Tucker of the Goodricke-Pigott Observatory, and provisionally designated 1997 UG7.
- Edward Pigott, 1981. [VII.] Account of a Nebula in Coma Berenices. By Edward Pigott, Esq. In a Letter to Nevil Maskelyne, D.D.F.R.S. and Astronomer Royal (dated 3 September 1779). Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Vol. LXXI (1781), p. 82-83.
- Clerke, Agnes Mary (1896). "Pigott, Edward". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography 45. London: Smith, Elder & Co. p. 284.
- Zdenek Kopal. Article on Edward Pigott and his father, Nathaniel Pigott, in: C. Gillispie (ed.). The Dictionary of Scientific Biography. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York.
- Anita McConnell and Alison Brech, 1999. Nathaniel and Edward Pigott, Itinerant Astronomers. Notes and Records of the Royal Society London, Vol. 53, No. 3, p. 305-318.