First discovered by Giuseppe Piazzi in 1801, asteroids, or minor planet, have not been extensively discussed in essays. As such, this essay provides an overview of asteroids including information on how they are classified and which ones are potentially dangerous for the planet earth. By looking at asteroids and their impact on the earth, it is hoped that some insight into the importance of Giuseppe Piazzi essays will be gleaned.
Giuseppe Piazzi was an astronomer born in Ponte di Valtellina in 1746. At the age of 33, Piazzi became Theatine monk and professor of theology in Rome. By 1780, Piazzi had become a professor of mathematics at the Academy of Palermo and in 1789 he set up an observatory at Palermo. Interestingly, when Piazzi observed the first asteroid on the first day in January 1801, he thought he had discovered a comet. However, after observing the object and plotting its orbit, Piazzi came to realize that the object he once believed to be a comet behaved more like a small planet.
Because Piazzi came to the conclusion that the object he observed in the sky was indeed a planet, he named the object Ceres, after the Sicilian goddess of grain. Shortly after the discovery of Ceres, Pallas, Vesta and Juno were discovered and by the end of the nineteenth century, astronomers had discovered more than several hundred “planets.” Each year, thousands of asteroids are discovered; today there are more several thousand asteroids that have given provisional designations. While many science term papers and essays speculate that there are many thousands more that cannot be viewed from earth, scientists speculate that there are more than a million asteroids in our solar system.