William R. Birt, English astronomer

William R. Birt, English astronomer

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: William Radcliffe Birt (1804-1881), English astronomer. Birt was an amateur astronomer, and he built his own observatory in 1866. Before this, he worked with John Herschel on "atmospheric waves". This research was based on Herschel's belief that the atmosphere was a medium for wave-like motion encompassing the globe. It was one of the first systematic investigations into weather patterns. This photograph, showing Birt with the pier of Victoria Park Observatory in London, was taken in October 1867.

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