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

Carrington, Richard Christopher

  • William Sheehan
Reference work entry

BornLondon, England, 26 May 1826

DiedChurt, Surrey, England, 27 November 1875

In addition to his unique contributions to knowledge about the axis and rotation of the Sun, Richard Carrington produced a valuable catalog of the positions of circumpolar stars. The son of a wealthy Brentford, Middlesex, brewer, Carrington was, along with  Johannes Hevel and  William Lassell, one of several notable amateur astronomers whose astronomical careers were founded on brewing fortunes. Educated at Cambridge University, he served for 3 years as an assistant to Reverend Temple Chevalier at Durham University Observatory.

However, his father’s money made him “an unfettered man,” as he put it, and in 1853 Carrington set up a superior observatory of his own, at Redhill, Surrey, south of London. He commissioned a transit circle with a 5-in. object glass and a 4½-in. equatorial refractor from the instrument makers Troughton and Simms. Carrington also hired an assistant, George Harvey Simmonds, whose salary...

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Selected References

  1. Anon. (1876). “Richard Christopher Carrington.” Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 36: 137–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Carrington, Richard Christopher (1857). A Catalogue of 3,735 Circumpolar Stars Observed at Redhill, In the Years 1854, 1855, and 1856for 1855.0. London: printed by George Edward Eyre and William Spottiswoode, Printers to the Queen’s most excellent Majesty, and sold by Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans.Google Scholar
  3. — (1858). “On the Distribution of the Solar Spots in Latitude since the Beginning of the Year 1854; with a Map.” Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 19: 1–3.Google Scholar
  4. — (1859). “On Certain Phenomena in the Motions of Solar Spots.” Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 19: 81–84.Google Scholar
  5. — (1859). “Description of a Singular Appearance seen in the Sun on September 1, 1859.” Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 20: 13–15.Google Scholar
  6. — (1863). “Observations of the Spots on the Sun, from November 9, 1853 to March 24, 1861, made at Redhill.” London: privately published from funds provided by the Royal Society.Google Scholar
  7. Chapman, Allan (1998). The Victorian Amateur Astronomer: Independent Astronomical Research in Britain, 1820–1920. Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
  8. Keer, Norman C. (1996). The Life and Times of Richard Christopher Carrington B.A., F.R.S., F.R.A.S. (18261875). Heathfield, East Sussex: privately printed.Google Scholar
  9. Teague, E. T. H. (1996). “Carrington’s Method of Determining Sunspot Positions.” Journal of the British Astronomical Association 106: 82–86.ADSGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Sheehan
    • 1
  1. 1.Lowell ObservatoryFlagstaffUSA