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John Flamsteed, English Astronomer
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England appointed its first Astronomer Royal, John Flamsteed (1646-1719) in 1675. He lived and worked at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, built by King Charles II of England in the same year. He catalogued over 3000 stars. Flamsteed accurately calculated the solar eclipses of 1666 and 1668. He was responsible for several of the earliest recorded sightings of the planet Uranus. As Astronomer Royal, Flamsteed spent some forty years observing and making meticulous records for his star catalogue, which would eventually triple the number of entries in Tycho Brahe's sky atlas. In 1725 Flamsteed's, Historia Coelestis Britannica was published posthumously. It contained Flamsteed's observations, and included a catalogue of 2,935 stars to much greater accuracy than any prior work. It was considered the first significant contribution of the Greenwich Observatory, and the numerical Flamsteed designations for stars that were added subsequently to a French edition are still in use.
June 2nd, 2013
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