Edward Emerson Barnard, the Early Years

  • Neil English
Part of the Historical & Cultural Astronomy book series (HCA)


There are few stories in the annals of astronomy more endearing than that of Edward Emerson Barnard. Born in the slums of Nashville, Tennessee, on December 16, 1857, Barnard never knew his father, Reuben, who died 3 months before he came into the world. His mother, Elizabeth, herself a native of Kentucky, moved to Nashville in search of work, eking out a meager living fashioning and selling wax flowers. Edward was the younger of two sons, but little is known concerning his older brother by 3 years, Charles, only that he may have had significant learning difficulties. And while childhood is ideally a happy and carefree experience, Edward never looked too fondly on his earliest years.


  1. Barnard, E.E.: Changes in the Length of the Great Red Spot on Jupiter. Barnard’s Byrne refractor through modern eyes.
  2. Sheehan, W.: The Immortal Fire Within: The Life and Work of Edward Emerson Barnard. Cambridge University Press, New York (1995)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neil English
    • 1
  1. 1.Fintry by GlasgowUK

Personalised recommendations