William M. Smart, British astronomer

William M. Smart, British astronomer

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: William Marshall Smart (1889-1975), British astronomer. Smart received his first degree from Glasgow University, and then took a mathematics and astronomy degree at Cambridge University. His initial research was in the area of celestial mechanics, but his service in the navy during World War I led to an interest in navigation, and his popular textbook, Spherical Astronomy (1931). Smart is best remembered for his work on the proper motion of stars. His textbook Stellar Dynamics (1938, later 'Stellar Kinematics') became the standard on the subject. He left Cambridge in 1937, and was Professor of Astronomy at the University of Glasgow until 1959. He was President of the Royal Astronomical Society (1949-1951).

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