Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
He was born in Banska Stiavnica in what is today Slovakia and his nationality was Slovak. He was director of the Vienna Observatory starting in 1755. He published the astronomical tables Ephemerides astronomicae ad meridianum Vindobonemsem (Ephemerides for the meridian of Vienna). He went to Vardø in the far north of Norway (then part of Denmark) to observe the 1769 transit of Venus.
There was some controversy about his observations of the transit of Venus because he stayed in Norway for eight months, collecting non-astronomical scientific data about the arctic regions for a planned encyclopedia (which never appeared, in part due to the suppression of the Jesuit order). Thus the publication of his results was delayed, and some (notably Joseph Johann Littrow) even accused him posthumously of falsifying his results. However a century after his death Simon Newcomb carefully studied his notebooks and exonerated him.
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