Richard Sheepshanks, British astronomer

Richard Sheepshanks, British astronomer

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Reverend Richard Sheepshanks (1794-1855), British astronomer. Educated at Cambridge University, Sheepshanks was called to the bar in 1824, and was ordained in 1825. However, the death of his father left him with the means to pursue his scientific interests instead. He served for many years in the Royal Astronomical Society, always refusing the presidency but raising the standard of the society's journal and contributing financially in many ways. He undertook nearly 90,000 measurements as part of work to re-establish a standard unit of length. The Sheepshanks crater on the Moon is named for his sister, Anne, who started an astronomical fund in his memory.

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