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Herschel Sir John

Herschel, Sir John (1792-1871), an English astronomer, son of Sir William Herschel, was born at Slough, and educated at Eton and Cambridge.

In 1813 he graduated B.A., as Senios Wrangler and Smith's prizeman. In 1820 he published a work on the application of the calculus to Finite Differences. In 1822 his father died, and he thenceforward applied himself to astronomy, among his first works being an examination and description of the nebulee and clusters discovered by his father. In 1823 he wrote the article on Physical Astronomy for the Encyclopcedia Metropolitans, to be followed up at intervals by other articles in that and other cyclopaedias. Articles on sound and on the theory of light had already appeared in the above-mentioned encyclopaedia. From 1834-37 he was at the Cape in order to study the stars of the Southern Hemisphere, and the results of his expedition were published in 1848 at the expense of the Duke of Northumberland. In 1838 he became D.C.L. of Oxford and baronet, and in 1848 President of the Royal Astronomical Society. From 1850-55 he was Master of the Mint. Besides his astronomical pursuits, he found time to write poems, and in 1866 he published a translation of the Iliad in hexameters. His articles to the Edinburyh and Quarterly Reviews, and addresses to the Astronomical Society and the British Association, were published in 1857.