Sir James South, British astronomer

Sir James South, British astronomer

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Sir James South (1785-1867), British astronomer. South trained and worked as a surgeon in London. In 1816, having married a wealthy heiress, he decided to devote his time to pursuing his interest in astronomy. He built his own private observatory, and worked with John Herschel on producing a star catalogue. He was one of the founders of the Astronomical Society of London, and as its president petitioned for its Royal Charter in 1831, since when it has been known as the Royal Astronomical Society. In 1826 he was awarded the society's Gold Medal, and the Copley Medal of the Royal Society. He was knighted in 1831. Craters on both Mars and the Moon are named in his honour.

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