ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
George Biddell Airy (1801-1892), British astronomer. During his career, Airy was elected president to the Royal Astronomical Society, Royal Society and British Association for the Advancement of Science, and held the post of Astronomer Royal as well as various professorships at Cambridge University. He made extensive planetary observations, discovering inequalities in the motions of Venus and Earth which had been overlooked in the astronomical tables used at the time. As Astronomer Royal, he established the Prime Meridian in Greenwich, London, UK. He also determined the mean density of the Earth through experiments with pendulums at the top and bottom of deep mines. This cartoon was published in Vanity Fair magazine, November 13th 1875.
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