Sir David Gill - Encyclopedia




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"SIR DAVID GILL (1843-1914), British astronomer, was born in Aberdeenshire June 12 18 4 3 and educated at the university of Aberdeen. From 1868 to 1873 he was in charge of a private observatory at Aberdeen, and from 1873-6 of Lord Crawford's observatory at Dunecht, organizing from there the expeditions to Mauritius to observe the transit of Venus in 1874 and to Ascension I. to determine the solar parallax by observations of Mars in 1877. He became Astronomer Royal in Cape Colony in 1879 and retained that post till 1902. There he observed the transit of Venus of 1882 and photographed the great comet of that year. He did much to advance stellar photography and its use in cataloguing the stars, and he was responsible for the geodetic surveys of Natal and Cape Colony, British Bechuanaland, German S.-W. Africa and Rhodesia. He was the recipient of many medals and honorary degrees and was created K.C.B. in 1900. In 1907 he was president of the British Association. He died in London Jan. 24 1914.

See David Gill, Man and Astronomer, by George Forbes (1916).

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