Equatorial at the United States Naval Observatory, Newcomb devoted it almost exclusively for the first two years to observations of the satellites of Uranus and Neptune, being of opinion that it was better to do one thing well than many things indifferently.
SIMON NEWCOMB (1835-1909), American astronomer, was born in Wallace, Nova Scotia, on the 12th of March 1835.
From an investigation of all the observations upon Mercury and the other three interior planets, Simon Newcomb found it almost out of the question that any such mass of matter could exist without changing either the figure of the sun itself or the motion of the planes of the orbits of either Mercury or Venus.
Completed one important section of the work projected by Newcomb in 1877.
In view of the wide extent and importance of his labours, the variety of subjects of which he treats, ard the unity of purpose which guided him throughout, Simon Newcomb must be considered as one of the most distinguished astronomers of his time.
At the international conference, which met at Paris in 1896 for the purpose of elaborating a common system of constants and fundamental stars to be employed in the various national ephemerides, Newcomb took a leading part, and at its suggestion undertook the task of determining a definite value of the constant of precession, and of 1 Lionville, t.
Sophie Newcomb Memorial College for women (a part of Tulane University) in New Orleans and the Louisiana Female College (1856; Baptist) at Keatchie; the State Normal School of Louisiana (1884) at Natchitoches and the New Orleans Normal and Training School; the South-western Louisiana Industrial Institute at Lafayette; the Louisiana Industrial Institute at Ruston; and, among schools for negroes, the Peabody State Normal and Industrial School at Alexandria and New Orleans University (1873; Methodist Episcopal), Luther College (Evangelical Lutheran), Leland University (1870; Baptist), Straight University (Congregational) and Southern University (1883; aided by the state), all in New Orleans.
As early as 1860 Newcomb communicated an important memoir to the American Academy, 4 On the Secular Variations and Mutual Relation of the Orbits of the Asteroids, in which he discussed the two principal hypotheses to account for the origin of these bodies - one, that they are the shattered fragments of a single planet (Olbers' hypothesis), the other, that they have been formed by the breaking up of a revolving ring of nebulous matter.
In 1866 Newcomb had published' an important memoir on the orbit of Neptune, which was followed in 1873 by a similar investigation of the orbit of Uranus.
But this action has been recently worked up with such completeness of detail by Radau, Newcomb and Brown, that the possibility of any unknown term seems out of the question.