Robert Main

Robert Main

The Reverend Robert Main (July 12 1808 – May 9 1878) was an English astronomer.

Born in Kent, he studied mathematics and graduated as sixth wrangler from Queens' College, Cambridge in 1834. He served for twenty-five years (1835-60) as First Assistant at the Royal Greenwich Observatory, and published numerous articles, particularly on stellar and planetary motion, stellar parallax, and the dimensions and shapes of the planets. From 1841 to 1861 he was successively an honorary secretary, a vice-president, and President of the Royal Astronomical Society, and in 1858 was awarded the Society's Gold Medal. In 1860 he became director of Radcliffe Observatory at Oxford University after the death of Manuel Johnson, and was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society.

He supervised the third (1859) edition of Sir John Herschel's "A Manual of Scientific Enquiry, prepared for the use of Her Majesty's Navy and adapted for travellers in general" (1849), which included an article on geology by Charles Darwin. His textbook "Practical and Spherical Astronomy" was published in 1863. He was responsible for editing the Second Radcliffe Catalogue (1870), which detailed 6,317 stars, and (with Charles Pritchard) Herschel's "Catalogue of 10,300 multiple and double stars" (1874). He also published observations made of rainfall in Oxford over 25 years from 1851 to 1875, and contributed to the "Fortnightly Review" during the editorship of G. H. Lewes.

He was an ordained priest of the Church of England who preached regularly while living in Greenwich, and his works include the annual address for 1875 to the Philosophical Society at the Victoria Institute (entitled "Modern Philosophic Scepticism Examined") and a sermon on I Corinthians 1:22-24 given to the British Association for the Advancement of Science in the same year. He completed the questionnaire on which Francis Galton based his "English Men of Science" (1874), and his recorded answers included the following comments:

:“I take considerable pains in the investigation of religious matters, one of my amusements being the collection of a considerable theological library, with the books of which I am familiar.”:“I am not aware of any innate taste for science... My interest in astronomy, especially, was very small indeed until I was appointed.”

There are craters on Mars and on the moon named after him.

External links

* [ Obituary]
* [;pkey=2477a Correspondence with Charles Darwin]


* V. L. Hilts "A Guide to Francis Galton's English Men of Science" "Trans. Amer. Philos. Soc." (New Ser.) 65 (5), 1-85 (1975)
* B. C. Williams "George Eliot; a biography" (1936)

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужна курсовая?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Robert Main — (12 juillet 1808 9 mai 1878) est un astronome britannique. Main naît à Upnor dans le Kent. Il étudie au Queens College de l université de Cambridge, il finit ses études en 1834 et se marie avec une sœur de Phillip Kelland en 1838. De 1835 à 1860… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Robert Main (footballer) — Infobox Football biography playername = Robert Main fullname = Robert Frame Main dateofbirth = birth date|1909|2|10 cityofbirth = Airdrie dateofdeath = death date and age|1985|3|30|1909|2|10 | cityofdeath = countryofdeath = countryofbirth =… …   Wikipedia

  • Main (surname) — Main as a surname may refer to Alan Main, Scottish association football player Anne Main, British politician Bert Main, Australian zoologist Grant Main, Canadian rower James Main, Scottish association football player John Main, British… …   Wikipedia

  • Main (lunar crater) — Coordinates 80°48′N 10°06′E / 80.8°N 10.1°E / …   Wikipedia

  • Robert Gant — Infobox actor name = Robert Gant caption = Actor Robert Gant, 2005 birthname = Robert González birthdate = Birth date and age|1968|7|13 birthplace = Tampa, Florida, U.S.Robert Gant (born Robert González on July 13, 1968, in Tampa, Florida, U.S.)… …   Wikipedia

  • Main (homonymie) — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Sur les autres projets Wikimedia : « Main (homonymie) », sur le Wiktionnaire (dictionnaire universel) En anatomie, la main est la partie du …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Main (Mondkrater) — Eigenschaften Breite 80,8° N Länge 10,1° O Durchmesser 46 km Tiefe 2,8 km Selenografische Länge 354° bei Sonnenaufgang Benannt nach Robert Main …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Robert Singerman — Infobox academic name = Robert Singerman image size = 150px birth date = 1942 birth place = nationality = field = work institutions = University of Florida alma mater = doctoral advisor = doctoral students = known for = Internationally recognized …   Wikipedia

  • Main — Recorded as Mane, Main, Maine, Mayne, and the patronymic or locational Mains, this very interesting surname can be English, Scottish, Dutch Flemish, French, Scandanavian, or German in origin. However in almost all cases the derivation is from the …   Surnames reference

  • Robert Gernhardt — bei einer Lesung im Evangelischen Stift Tübingen (2001) Robert Gernhardt (* 13. Dezember 1937 in Reval, Estland; † 30. Juni 2006 in Frankfurt am Main) war ein deutscher Schriftsteller, Zeichner und Maler …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”