Ferrari was born at Bolgona on Oct. 23, 1834. At the age of 18 he became a Jesuit. In 1865 he entered the Roman College Observatory as a fellow its director, Father Angelo Secchi. They observed from a rooftop of St. Ignatius Church, Rome with a 9.5" Merz refractor. During a fruitless search for Biela's comet from Nov. 11, 1865 to Jan. 18. 1866 Ferrari discovered 14 nebulae. Secchi (or Ferrari) also determined better positions for two nebulae, NGC 157 and NGC 7648, found earlier by William Herschel. The observations were published in: Secchi, A., Schreiben an den Herausgeber, AN  66, 161 (1866). About the instrument Secchi states there: "From this study, we have convinced ourselves that the refractor at our observatory is at least as keen and powerful as the Herschels' telescopes ..." and they "fitted [to the telescope] a large eyepiece which gives a 27 arcmin field." Dreyer included the 14 objects in the NGC, noting (incorrectly) Secchi as discoverer. A modern investigation shows, that only five objects are real: the galaxies NGC 50 (Cetus), NGC 7667, NGC 7683, NGC 7738 and NGC 7739 (all in Pisces). One is a group of four stars (NGC 7614 in Pisces) but the other remain as "not found" (NGC 116, NGC 7565, NGC 7613, NGC 7663, NGC 7666 and NGC 7668-70). In 1878 Ferrari became Professor of Astronomy at the Universita Gregoriana, Rome. He used a private Merz refractor of 9" at his home, the Villa Cecchina. He retired in 1894 and died at Paris on June 20, 1903.
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Obituary: Atti Nuovi Lincei, 57, 61 (1904)