Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, JoAnn Palmeri, Daniel W. E. Green

Saunder, Samuel Arthur

Reference work entry

BornLondon, England, 18 May 1852

DiedOxford, England, 8 December 1912

English mathematician and amateur astronomer Samuel Saunder was a leading selenographer at the beginning of the twentieth century and helped create both a standard system of lunar nomenclature and an accurate system of lunar coordinates. Educated at Cambridge University as a mathematician, Saunder spent his entire career as professor of mathematics at Wellington College, Berkshire.

However, Saunder’s great passion was astronomy, especially the study of the Moon. Attracted to the problem of measuring the exact locations of the lunar features, Saunder used both a micrometer and photographic plates to determine the position of Möstig A, the Moon’s fundamental point. His measurements – to within 0.1″ – were 50 times more accurate than those any previous observer had obtained. Saunder then measured positions for over 3,000 other central lunar formations relative to Möstig A.

After the invention of the telescope, the...

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Selected References

  1. Blagg, M. A. and S. A. Saunder (1913). Collated List of Lunar Formations Named or Lettered in the Maps of Neison, Schmidt, and Mädler. Edinburgh: Neill and Co.Google Scholar
  2. Saunder, S. A. (1911). “The Determination of Selenographic Positions and the Measurement of Lunar Photographs.” Memoirs of the Royal Astronomical Society 60, pt. 1.Google Scholar
  3. Turner, H. H. (1907). “Lunar Nomenclature.” Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 68: 134–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.AtlantaUSA