Institute of Astronomy

Biographies E - L

Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington O.M. F.R.S. (1882-1944) Plumian Professor: 1913-1944, provided evidence for Relativity in 1919 eclipse expedition, popularizer of Relativity. Director of the Cambridge Observatory 1914-1944 and resided at the Observatory with mother Sarah Ann Eddington (1852-1924) and sister, Winifred Eddington (1879-1954). Obits.  MNRAS Vol. 105, p.68 (1945)   The Observatory, Vol. 66, p. 1-12 (1945)  Popular Astronomy, Vol. 53, p.253 (1945) See also ODNB. Memorial at Trinity College Chapel.

George Petros Efstathiou  (1955-) FRS (1994) Director of the Institute of Astronomy 2004-2008, Director of the Kavili Institute for Cosmology, Cambridge 2008-2016

Richard Salisbury Ellis (1950-) Plumian Professor 1993-1999 FRS (1995) Director of the Institute of Astronomy 1994-1999, CBE (2008)

Rebecca Anne Wood Elson  (1960-1999) astronomer and poet.  Isaac Newton Student and Ph.D. (Christ's College and IoA, Cambridge, 1986, her supervisor was Donald Lynden-Bell).  A book of her poetry 'A responsibility to awe' was published: Manchester : Carcanet Press, c2001. There is a horse chesnut tree planted in the grounds of the IoA in her memory. Obituary The Independent 28 June 1999Wikipedia.

Frederick Entwistle (1896?-1917) Junior Assistant at the Cambridge Observatory 1914-17. Killed in action as a Second Lieutenant in the 1st Bn. Norfolk Regiment 9 October 1917, he is burried at the Hooge Crater Cemetery, Belgium (Commonwealth War Graves Commission database)

Andrew Christopher Fabian  (1948-) FRS (1996) OBE (2006) Director of the Institute of Astronomy (2013-) Kavli Prize (2020)

Miss Judith Veronica Field  (??)  Assistant in Research, Combined Observatories 1970-72

Peter Berners Fellgett  (1922-2008)  Senior Assistant Observer 1955-9, then to Royal Observatory, Edinburgh.  First professor of cybernetics at a British university (Reading, 1964).  FRS (1986).  Obit. The Observatory 129 (2009) 107

Miss Hilda Gibb (??) Of Girton College, Computer at the Cambridge Observatory 1902-3

James Glaisher (1809-1903) Junior Assistant Observer at the Cambridge Observatory 1833-1835, later meteorologist at Greenwich, FRS and pioneer balloonist. Obits. MNRAS 64 (1903) p.280. The Observatory Vol. 26, p. 129-132 (1903)

John Glaisher (1819-1846) Junior Assistant Observer at the Cambridge Observatory 1836-1844.  Married Jane Sarah, daughter of the late Revd. B. Berry, Vicar of Thriplow on 6 June 1844 (Bury & Norwich Post 12 June).  Died at Blackheath, 16 May 1846 (Ipswich Journal 30 May).  MNRAS 7 (1847) p.198-199.

Alfred Winton Goatcher (1873-1921) Assistant to Mr Newall at the Cambridge Observatory 1892-1902, Established Computer at the Royal Observatory the Cape 1902-7, member 'GOK' of the BAA VSS. See also JBAA 20 (1910) 430-433 'Notes on Halley's Comet, April 13 to May 3, 1910'. S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Douglas Owen Gough  (1941-) FRS (1997) Director of the Institute of Astronomy 1999-2004

Andrew Graham (1815-1908) discovered the asteroid 9 Metis whilst employed at the Markree Observatory in Ireland.  Senior Assistant at the Cambridge Observatory 1864-1903. Honorary Cambridge M.A. (1883).  Wife, Mary died at the Observatory (20 August 1883).  Retired to Maids Causeway, Cambridge.  Buried in family grave Histon Road Cemetery B13-277 (information from Michael French 8 February 2016)  Entry in ODNB.

Henry Ernest Green (1889-1944) Junior Assistant at the Cambridge Observatory 1918-44. Obit. MNRAS 105 (1945) 90-91.

Roger Griffin  (23 August 1935 - 12 February 2021) worked at the Cambridge Observatories from 1957 until retirement, and later as an emeritus professor of observational astronomy. John Couch Adams Astronomer (1972-1988).  RAS Jackson-Gwilt Medal (1980). Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge, see.  Important work on stellar radial velocity measurement, see IET

Miss Hardy (??) Computer at Cambridge Observatory 1876 to August 1881 (resigned)

William Ernest Hartley (1877-1917) Junior Assistant at the Cambridge Observatory 1903-1913, Senior Assistant 1913-1917. Died on H.M.S. Vanguard when the vessel exploded at anchor 9 July 1917, he was serving as a Naval Instructor, he is recorded on the Chatham Naval Memorial (Commonwealth War Graves Commission database). Obit. MNRAS 78 (1918) 248.

Stephen Hawking CBE CH FRS (1942-2018) theoretical physicist and popular writer.  Researcher at Institute of Theoretical Astronomy 1968-72 and Institute of Astronomy 1972-73

Revd. Sir John Charles William Herschel  (1869-1950) was briefly a Research Student at the Cambridge Observatory 1900-1901.  Observed the 1900 Leonids and 1901 Lyrids from Cambridge MNRAS 61 (1901) 141 & MNRAS 61 (1901) 564  See Obituary MNRAS 111 (1951) 157

Paul Charles Hewett  (1956- ) John Couch Adams Astronomer 1995-2000, Director of the Institute of Astronomy 2012-13

Anthony Hewish (1924-) developed aperture synthesis at the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory (1974 Nobel Prize winner)

Arthur Robert Hinks (1873-1945) Junior Assistant at the Cambridge Observatory 1896-1903, Senior Assistant 1903-1913.  Obits MNRAS Vol. 106 (1946), p.30  The Observatory, Vol. 66, p. 89-91 (1945)

Sydney Samuel Hough  (1870-1923)  educated at St. John's College, Cambridge.  Thrird Wrangler, 1892.  Smith's Prize, 1894.  Isaac Newton student and St. John's Fellow, 1895.  Chief Assistant, Cape Observatory, 1898.  HM Astronomer at the Cape 1907-23.  Obit.  MNRAS 84 (1924) 216The Observatory 46 (1923) 269.

Sir Fred Hoyle (1915-2001) Plumian Professor: 1958-1972, developed nucleosynthesis theory in astrophysics, opposed big-bang theory in cosmology, wrote science fiction, founder and Director (1967-1972) of the Institute of Theoretical Astronomy, Cambridge.  Obits.  The Observatory, Vol. 121, p. 405-408 (2001) ODNB There is a very useful online exhibition about Hoyle at St. John's College, Cambridge

Sir Harold Jeffreys (1891-1989) Plumian Professor: 1946-1958, geophysicist.  Obit. QJRAS Vol. 31 (1990), No. 2, p. 267 - 271.  Nature, Volume 339, Issue 6220, pp. 102 (1989)

Dr Derek H.P. Jones (27 March 1934 - 14 December 1956) RGO astronomer and IoA emeritus.  Obituary: The Observatory Vol. 140, No. 1277 (2020) p.156-158

Robert C. Kennicutt Jr. (1951-) Plumian Professor: 2005-2017, FRS (2011) Director of the Institute of Astronomy 2008-2012

Edward J. Kibblewhite (1944-) Assistant Technical Officer, Combined Observatories 1969-72, Senior Assistant in Research 1972-76, Assistant Director of Research 1976-85, Combined Observatories. Inventor of Automated Plate Measuring Machine.

Harald von Kluber (1901-1978) Assistant Observer 1949-1960 then Assistant Director of the Solar Physics Observatory 1960-68, retired at age limit, but continued at Malta out station to 1971 supported by SRC grant. See Obituary QJRAS 20 (1979) 472-5.

Mr Le Jeune / Lejeune  (??)  Assistant observer/computer Summer 1846, a graduate of the University of Leyden (see Observatory Syndicate Report for 1846)

Abbe Georges Henri Joseph Edouard Lemaitre  (1894-1966)  Cosmologist and pioneer of the Big Bang theory, worked with Eddington at the Cambridge Observatory over the year 1923-4, see Annual Report of the Observatory Syndicate 1924.

Edward Hubert Linfoot  (8 June 1905-14 October 1982)  Married Joyce Dancer (1935).  Assistant Director and John Couch Adams Astronomer at Cambridge Observatories 1948-1969.  Fellow University (Wolfson) College (1966) See Obituary QJRAS 25 (1984) 219  The Times 15 October 1982.  There is a detailed account of the Linfoot family living in the Cambridge Observatory 'West House' in 1962 by John Bell

Roger Long (1680-1770) first Lowdean Professor of astronomy, created a planetarium sphere 'the Uranium' at Pembroke which existed from 1758-1871. See ODNB

Revd. William Ludlam  (1717-1788) mathematician, astronomer, clergyman. Made observations from St. John's College, Cambridge in 1767 and 1768.  JBAA 116 (2006) 119  See ODNB 

Donald Lynden-Bell  (1935 - 5 February 2018) CBE Director of Institute of Astronomy 1972-77, 1982-87 & 1992-94, FRS (1978) Eddington Medal (1984), RAS Gold Medal (1993), Kavli Prize (2008). Obituary: Nature 555, 166 (2018)

William Thynne Lynn (1835-1911) most of career at Greenwich but, Junior Assistant at Cambridge Observatory 1855-56. Obits. MNRAS Vol. 72, (1912) p.249  The Observatory, Vol. 35, p. 47-49 (1912)

Raymond Arthur Lyttleton  (1911-1995)  graduate of Clare College (1933), 'honorary' staff member of Cambridge Observatory, Fellow of St. Johns College (1937).  FRS (1955), Gold medal of the RAS (1959), Royal Medal (1965).  Institute of Theoretical Astronomy/Institute of Astronomy 1967-1978.  Professor of theoretical astronomy (1969-, emeritus 1978-).  Theoretical work in astronomy and geophysics, numerous books and papers.  See ODNB  Obit. Nature 375 (1995) 738

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