28 June 2014
Leonhard Euler, the most prolific mathematician in history, contributed to advance a wide spectrum of topics in celestial mechanics. At the Saint Petersburg Observatory, Euler observed sunspots and tracked the movements of the Moon. Combining astronomical observations with his own mathematical genius, he determined the orbits of planets and comets. Euler laid the foundations of the methods of planetary perturbations and solved many of the Newtonian mechanics problems of the eighteenth century that are relevant today. In his study of the three-body problem, Euler discovered two of the five equilibrium points so-called the Lagrangian points. His pioneering work in astronomy was recognized with six of the twelve prizes he won from the Paris Academy of Sciences. In this article, we review some of Euler's most interesting contributions to astronomy.