Thursday 14 April 2022

A Cooke for a Herschel


In 1867 Alexander Herschel purchased a small telescope from Thomas Cooke & Sons of York. It was a small telescope with an object glass of just 1.5 inches with a large field and short focus. The instrument was painted black.

Alexander Stewart Herschel (1836-1907) was the son of John Herschel a polymath who spent time in South Africa cataloguing the southern sky. Alexander Herschel’s grandfather was William Herschel who in 1781 discovered the planet we now call Uranus.

Alexander was less well known than his father or grandfather but he undertook pioneering work in meteor spectroscopy and worked in trying to identify comets as the sources of meteor showers.

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