George Biddell Airy, British astronomer

George Biddell Airy, British astronomer

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: George Biddell Airy (1801-1892), British astronomer, 19th century engraving. During his career, Airy was elected president to the Royal Astronomical Society, Royal Society and British Association for the Advancement of Science, and held the post of Astronomer Royal as well as various professorships at Cambridge University. He made extensive planetary observations, discovering inequalities in the motions of Venus and Earth which had been overlooked in the astronomical tables used at the time. As Astronomer Royal, he established the Prime Meridian in Greenwich, London, UK. He also determined the mean density of the Earth through experiments with pendulums at the top and bottom of deep mines.

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