BornDublin, Ireland, 14 October 1788
DiedRichmond, (London), England, 26 June 1883
Irish polymath Edward Sabine was the first to point out the correla tion between the 11-year solar activity (sunspot) cycle and a similar cycle in the behavior of the Earth’s magnetic field.
Sabine’s education was completed at the Royal Military Colleges of Marlow and Woolwich, England. On 22 December 1803, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Royal Artillery, becoming a captain one decade later. He would ultimately achieve the rank of major general (1859).
After his services in the war of 1812 against the United States, Sabine was chosen as astronomer on the first expedition (1818) sponsored by the Royal Society of London to search for the Northwest Passage. He served in the same capacity on the subsequent expedition from 1819 to 1820. On these voyages, he made his first observations of terrestrial magnetism that were later described before the Royal Society. Sabine reached the important...