Airy, Sir George Biddell

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Airy, Sir George Biddell,

1801–92, English astronomer. The son of a poor farmer, he distinguished himself as Senior Wrangler at Cambridge, where he was elected fellow of Trinity College (1824) and appointed professor (1826). As Astronomer Royal and director of the Royal Greenwich Observatory from 1835 to 1881, he organized the efficient and accurate observation of stellar positions. Airy wrote many governmental reports on astronomical and other subjects, published works on celestial mechanics, and made discoveries in theoretical and practical optics, including the cylindrical lens for correcting astigmatism, an eye defect he himself possessed.


See his autobiography (1896).

References in periodicals archive ?
It took several attempts to gain the attention of George Airy (then astronomer royal) and, after several delays, James Challis (director of the Cambridge Observatory) began to search for planets.
In June 1846 Sir George Airy, the Astronomer Royal, persuaded James Challis to look for the missing planet after seeing that Le Verrier's results were very similar to those of Adams.
Dent was subsequently charged by Astronomer Royal, Sir George Airy, to create the Standard Clock at the Royal Observatory, while many more of his creations were housed in the official observatories of Italy, Spain, Belgium, Russia, the U.
Sir George Airy was born at Clayport in Alnwick on July 27, 1801, and baptised at St Michael's Church at Bailiffgate.
He passed his findings on to Sir George Airy, a top scientific civil servant of his day, but his efforts were largely ignored.