Giovanni Battista Donati
|Died||20 September 1873 (aged 46)|
|Awards||Lalande Prize (1858)|
Donati was also a pioneer in the spectroscopic study of the stars, the Sun, and comets. He observed the total solar eclipse of 18 July 1860, at Torreblanca in Spain, and in the same year began experiments in stellar spectroscopy. In 1862 he published a memoir, Intorno alle strie degli spettri stellari, which indicated the feasibility of a physical classification of the stars.
Donati also used spectroscopy of comets to determine their physical composition, in particular with the comet 1864b, which spectrum he found containing three emitting lines which would four years later be identified by William Huggins to be carbon. He discovered that the spectrum changed when a comet approached the Sun, and that heating caused it to emit its own light rather than reflected sunlight: he concluded that the composition of comets is, at least in part, gaseous.
An investigation of the great aurora of 4 February 1872 led Donati to refer such phenomena to a distinct branch of science, designated by him "cosmical meteorology". However, he could not follow up on the subject, as he died from cholera, which he had contracted while attending a scientific convention in Vienna, the following year.
- "1874MNRAS..34..153. Page 153". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 34: 153. 1874. Bibcode:1874MNRAS..34..153.. doi:10.1093/mnras/34.4.153.
- Giovanni Battista DONATI Archived 27 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine. in G. F. Tricomi, Matematici italiani del primo secolo dello stato unitario, Memorie dell'Accademia delle Scienze di Torino. Classe di Scienze fisiche matematiche e naturali, serie IV tomo I, 1962.
- Донати, Джанбатиста, Great Soviet Encyclopedia (in Russian)
- public domain: Clerke, Agnes Mary (1911). "Donati, Giovanni Battista". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 8 (11th ed.). p. 408. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the
- G. Donati @ Astrophysics Data System
- Portrait of Giovanni Battista Donati from the Lick Observatory Records Digital Archive, UC Santa Cruz Library's Digital Collections Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine