Edward Pigott

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Edward Pigott
NationalityUnited Kingdom
Scientific career
InfluencedJohn Goodricke

Edward Pigott (1753–1825) was an English astronomer notable for being one of the founders of the study of variable stars .[1][2][3][4]


Son of the astronomer Nathaniel Pigott, Pigott's work focused on variable stars. Educated in France with a mother from Louvain, the family moved to York in 1781. Despite their significant age difference, he was a friend and collaborator of John Goodricke (his distant cousin[2]) until the latter's untimely death at the age of 21 in 1786.[5]

In 1784, Pigott informed the Royal Society of his discovery of a new variable star.[6] This was Eta Aquilae which he had identified the previous year.[7] He corresponded with leading astronomers of the day including William Herschel[8] and Nevil Maskelyne.[9]

Pigott moved to Bath in 1796.[2] Pigott's notebooks survive at York City Archives.


Asteroid 10220 Pigott is named after Edward and his father. It was discovered by R. A. Tucker at the observatory in Tucson, Arizona which bears Pigott's name and that of his friend Goodricke.


  1. ^ Clerke, Agnes Mary (1896). "Pigott, Edward". In S. Lee (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. 45. London, England: Smith, Elder & Co. p. 283.
  2. ^ a b c McConnell, Anita (2004). "Pigott, Nathaniel". The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/22254.
  3. ^ Kopal, Zdeněk (1974). "Pigott, Edward, and Pigott, Nathaniel". In Gillispie, C. C. (ed.). Dictionary of Scientific Biography. 10. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. pp. 607–608.
  4. ^ McConnell, A.; Brech, A. (1999). "Nathaniel and Edward Pigott, Itinerant Astronomers". Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London. Royal Society of London. 53 (3): 305–318. doi:10.1098/rsnr.1999.0084.
  5. ^ Hoskin, Michael (1979). "Goodricke, Pigott and the Quest for Variable Stars". Journal for the History of Astronomy. 10 (1): 23–41. Bibcode:1979JHA....10...23H. doi:10.1177/002182867901000103.
  6. ^ Pigott, Edward (1785). "Observations of a New Variable Star". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. 75: 127–136. Bibcode:1785RSPT...75..127P. doi:10.1098/rstl.1785.0007.
  7. ^ Jones, Bryn. "Nathaniel Pigott and Edward Pigott". A History of Astronomy in Wales. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  8. ^ "William Herschel writes to fellow astronomer Edward Pigott". Huntington Digital Library. Retrieved 22 April 2014.
  9. ^ "Observations of the Comet of 1783". Archive.org. Retrieved 22 April 2014.

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