Thursday 9 June 2016

Astrognome Scrapbook WF Denning

William Frederick Denning 1848 - 1931

W F Denning died in Bristol on 9th June 1931 he was 83. He had an early interest in astronomy and when he was 16 he acquired a 4 ½ inch refractor, later he would obtain a 10 inch reflector that he did much of his work with. He was not professionally trained he worked as an accountant. He was what today would be referred to as an amateur astronomer.

He observed the Andromedid meteor shower of 1872; this was the remains of comet Biela which had broken up. He became a prolific meteor observer undertaking work on the positions of meteor radiants. He also discovered 4 comets in 1881, 1890, 1892.and 1894. He was also one of the first observers of the bright nova in Aquila in 1918 and on August 20th 1920 he discovered Nova Cygni.  His main interest in planets was with Jupiter and also to a lesser extent Mars. 

Denning was a very modest person who enjoyed cricket, he was invited by W G Grace to play for Gloucestershire but he declined the invitation.  

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