Niccolò Cacciatore

Cacciatore, Niccolò: (b. Jan. 26, 1770, Casteltermini (AG); d. Jan. 28, 1841, Palermo). Astronomer. A student and assistant of Giuseppe, Piazzi (director of the Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo and discoverer of the asteroid Ceres), he helped that scientist compile the second edition of the Palermo Star Catalogue (publ. 1814). He became notorious for a sort of practical joke concerning this catalog in which renamed two stars using the reversed spellings of his Latinized name.  The trick did not hurt his career as he succeeded Piazzi at the observatory in 1817. A Sicilian patriot, he was imprisoned for a time after the failure of the 1820 Revolution in Sicily. Resuming his post at the Palermo Observatory, he discovered the globular cluster NGC 6541 in 1826. He remained directory until his death in 1841, and was succeeded by his son Gaetano.