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

Skjellerup, John Francis

Reference work entry

BornCobden, Victoria, (Australia), 16 May 1875

DiedMelbourne, Victoria, Australia, 6 February 1952

John Francis Skjellerup independently discovered or recovered eight comets, of which five bear his name. He was also a dedicated variable-star observer from both South Africa and Australia.

Frank Skjellerup, as he liked to be known, the son of a Danish immigrant farmer, Peder Jensen Skjellerup and his British-born wife Margaret (néeWilliamson) Skjellerup, was the tenth of 13 children. When he was still a small boy his father died. As a result, the day before his 14th birthday, Frank left school and began working as a messenger for the Victorian Post Office. He trained as a telegraph operator, and when the South African Government began recruiting telegraphers in Australia, Skjellerup was one of those selected, arriving in Cape Town in early 1900. Although he spent the rest of his working life in South Africa, when he retired in 1923 he and his wife Mary returned to Australia, settling...

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Selected References

  1. Hughes, David W. (1991). “J. Grigg, J. F. Skjellerup and Their Comet.” Vistas in Astronomy 34: 1–10.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Orchiston, W. (1999). “Of Comets and Variable Stars: The Afro-Australian Astronomical Activities of J. F. Skjellerup.” Journal of the British Astronomical Association 109: 328–338.ADSGoogle Scholar
  3. Skellerup, P. (1961). The Skellerup Family: A Short History 1820–1960. Christchurch: Pegasus Press, pp. 32–34.Google Scholar
  4. Skjellerup, J. F. (1913). “Observations of Gale’s Comet (1912a).” Journal of the British Astronomical Association 23: 210–211.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Astronomical Research Institute of ThailandChiang MaiThailand