Comet 2P/Encke is the comet with the shortest known period of only 3.3 years (thus also the smallest orbit).
Johann Franz Encke (Sep 23, 1791 - Aug 26, 1865) came from Hamburg, Germany, and studied mathematics and astronomy under Gauss at Goettingen. From 1816 to 1825, he worked at Seeberg observatory, and in 1825, succeeded Johann Elert Bode as the director of the Berlin observatory and astronomer of the Berlin Academy of Sciences. After suffering a stroke in 1859, Encke retired to Spandau where he died in 1865.
Encke found the periodicity of "his" comet during his time at Seeberg; also at that time, he calculated the Sun's distance from observations of the Venus transits of 1761 and 1769. In 1837, he discovered a gap in Saturn's A ring, whch is since called Encke Division.