Thomas Harriot, British astronomer

Thomas Harriot, British astronomer

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Caption: Thomas Harriot. Historical artwork thought to be of the British mathematician and astronomer Thomas Harriot (1560-1621). Harriot graduated from Oxford University and was hired by Sir Walter Raleigh as a mathematics tutor. After an expedition to the Americas, he worked on the theory of refraction. Halley's Comet in 1607 turned his attention to astronomy and Harriot made the first telescopic observations of the Moon on 26th July 1609, predating those of Galileo. He was also the first man to observe sunspots, in December 1610.

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