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Franz Xaver, Baron Von Zach

Franz Xaver, Baron Von Zach (1754-1832), German astronomer, was born at Pesth on the June 4, 1754. He served for some time in the Austrian army, and afterwards lived in London from 1783 to 1786 as tutor in the house of the Saxon minister, Count Brühl[?]. In 1786 he was appointed by Ernest II. of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha[?] director of the new observatory on the Seeberg at Gotha, which was finished in 1791. From 1806 Zach accompanied the duke's widow on her travels in the south of Europe. He died in Paris on the September 2, 1832.

Zach published Tables of the Sun (Gotha, 1792; new and improved edition, ibid., 1804), and numerous papers on geographical subjects, particularly on the geographical positions of many towns and places, which he determined on his travels with a sextant.

His principal importance was, however, as editor of three scientific journals of great value: Allgemeine Geographische Ephemeriden (4 vols., Gotha, 1798-1799), Monatliche Correspondent zur Beförderung der Erd- und Himmels-Kunde (28 vols., Gotha, 1800-1813, from 1807 edited by B. von Lindenau), and Correspondance astronomique, geographique, hydrographique, et statistique (Genoa, 1818-1826, 14 vols., and one number of the 15th, the suppression of which was instigated by the Jesuits).

(From the 1911 Enc. Brit., out of copyright)

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