Sir Robert Stawell Ball - Encyclopedia


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"SIR ROBERT STAWELL BALL (1840-1913), Irish astronomer, was born in Dublin July 1 1840. Educated at Trinity College, Dublin, he was appointed in 1865 assistant to the Earl of Rosse's observatory at Parsonstown, and whilst there he discovered four spiral nebulae. On the death of Lord Rosse two years later he became professor of mathematics in Dublin University and in 1874 Royal Astronomer of Ireland. This post he held until 1898; but in 1892 he was also made professor of astronomy and geometry at Cambridge and director of the university observatory. From 1897-9 he was president of the Royal Astronomical Society. He was knighted in 1886. He was an admirable lecturer and writer of popular books on his subject, as well as of more learned works such as his Treatise on Spherical Astronomy (1885) and Treatise on the Theory of Screws (1900); and he was a congenial figure in all circles. He died at Cambridge Nov. 25 1913.

1 The right, moving more or less independently, was at Dobrinishte in the Mesta valley. The left had reached Pehchevo.

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