The descriptive branch found its principle of development in the growing powers of the telescope, and had little to do with mathematical theory; which, on the contrary, was closely allied, by relations of mutual helpfulness, with practical astronomy, or " astrometry."
The subject of Astrophysics does not admit of so definite a subdivision as that of Astrometry.
He employed in his discussion the radial velocities of 280 stars, spectroscopically determined; and the upshot signally exemplified the community of interests between the rising science of astrophysics and the ancient science of astrometry.
The field we have defined is divisible into at least two parts, that of Astronomy proper, or " Astrometry," which treats of the motions, mutual relations and dimensions of the heavenly bodies; and that of Astrophysics, which treats of their physical constitution.
The following are those most used in astrometry: The equatorial telescope is an instrument which can be directed to any point in the sky, and which derives its appellation from its being mounted on an axis parallel to that of the earth.
He invented, or improved armillary spheres, the chief implements of ancient astrometry, determined the obliquity of the ecliptic at 23° 51' (a value 5' too great), and introduced an effective mode of arc-measurement.