Thomas Wright, English astronomer

Thomas Wright, English astronomer

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Thomas Wright (1711-1786), English astronomer, mathematician and architect. Wright's lasting contribution to astronomy was his theory that the Milky Way's appearance is due to the Sun being part of a flat layer of stars, now known as the Milky Way galaxy. This theory was published in 1750. This artwork formed the frontispiece of another of his works, Clavis Coelestis (1742), a large engraved diagram of the heavens. The frontispiece proclaims Wright as a professor of natural philosophy and mathematics. The artwork includes an ouroboros design, here a serpent devouring its tail.

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