Common, Andrew Ainslie
BornNewcastle upon Tyne, England, 7 August 1841
DiedEaling, (London), England, 2 June 1903
Andrew Common demonstrated the value of using large reflecting telescopes to photograph celestial objects. Through his improved techniques for guiding telescopes, which made possible comparatively long exposures, Common proved that photography could record substantially greater detail than could be seen with the naked eye.
Common’s father, Thomas Common, a distinguished surgeon of the North country who was renowned for his treatment of cataract, died during Andrew’s infancy, and economic misfortunes beset the family. During those years of hardship, when Common was about 10, his mother borrowed a telescope for him from Dr. Bates of Morpeth. Although Common showed great interest in the instrument, he had no real opportunity to exercise his astronomical inclinations for many years thereafter and, instead, struck out on his own at a very young age to seek training and employment.
Common was fortunate...
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- —(1892). “On the Construction of a Five-foot Equatorial Reflecting Telescope.” Memoirs of the Royal Astronomical Society 50: 113–204.Google Scholar
- King, Henry C. (1955). The History of the Telescope. High Wycombe: Charles Griffin and Co. (Reprint, New York: Dover, 1979. See Chap. 13, pp. 261–281.)Google Scholar