John Flamsteed, English astronomer

John Flamsteed, English astronomer

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: John Flamsteed (1646-1719), English astronomer. Flamsteed was appointed by Charles II as the first Astronomer Royal in 1675. He was charged with the construction of accurate lunar and stellar tables, which were needed to enable seafarers to determine their longitude at sea. The Royal Greenwich Observatory was created for the purpose, and the task was to occupy him for the rest of his life. The finished work contained the positions of nearly 3000 stars, to an accuracy of 10 seconds of arc, but it was not published until 6 years after his death.

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