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John Goodricke, Dutch-British astronomer

John Goodricke, Dutch-British astronomer

H407/0360

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Credit

ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

John Goodricke (1764-1786), Dutch-British astronomer. Born in the Netherlands, Goodricke, an amateur astronomer, spent most of his life in England. He made rigorous observations of the variable star Algol (Beta Persei), and suggested that it was a binary star, or rather two stars orbiting around each other. By proposing that one star regularly passed in front of the other from the Earth's perspective, he could account for the star's variable nature. He won the Copley Medal of the Royal Society in 1783. He was profoundly deaf all his life following a bout of scarlet fever in childhood.

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