Vincenzo Cerulli

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Vincenzo Cerulli
Cerulli vincenzo 2.jpg
Born (1859-04-20)20 April 1859
Teramo, Italy
Died 30 May 1927(1927-05-30) (aged 68)
Merate, Italy
Nationality Italian
Fields Astronomy
Asteroids discovered: 1 [1]
704 Interamnia October 2, 1910 MPC[2]

Vincenzo Cerulli (20 April 1859 – 30 May 1927) was an Italian astronomer and founder of the Collurania-Teramo Observatory in Teramo, central Italy, where he was born.[2][3][4]

He earned a degree in physics from the University of Rome in 1881.

After a four-year period of study in Germany, where he worked at the observatories of Bonn and Berlin, Cerulli compiled a star catalog with Elia Millosevich. In 1890, he founded his observatory, which he named "Collurania", equipping it with a 40 cm Cooke refractor. He also observed Mars and developed the theory that the Martian canals were not real but an optical illusion, a theory that was later confirmed.

He discovered one asteroid, 704 Interamnia, which is named after the Latin name for Teramo, and is notable for its relatively large diameter of approximately 350 km, which makes it the fifth largest body in the traditional asteroid belt.[5][6]

Cerulli died at Merate, Province of Lecco, in 1927.[3] The 130-kilometer Martian crater Cerulli, as well as the asteroids 366 Vincentina and 31028 Cerulli are named in his honor.[4][7]


  1. ^ "Minor Planet Discoverers (by number)". Minor Planet Center. 23 May 2016. Retrieved 15 June 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (704) Interamnia. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 68. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3. Retrieved 7 August 2016. 
  3. ^ a b A. Di Legge Necr.: Rend. Lincei, app. al v. (6) 8 (1928), I-VIII] Archived September 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ a b Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (366) Vincentina. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 45. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3. Retrieved 7 August 2016. 
  5. ^ 704 Interamnia 2003 Mar 23
  6. ^ 704 Interamnia (1910 KU). NASA
  7. ^ "31028 Cerulli (1996 HH1)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 7 August 2016.