A Catalogue of Stars

Today is the birthday of John Flamsteed, an English astronomer born in 1646 who produced important star catalogues. As the first Astronomer Royal at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, he recorded well over 20,000 observations and improved existing tables of star positions. His greatest achievement was his British Catalogue of 2884 Stars. Flamsteed was one of the few people who crossed swords with physicist Isaac Newton, whose demands for data he found burdensome.

[Source: Trevor I. Williams, Ed. A Biographical Dictionary of Scientists, Third Edition. John Wiley & Sons. New York. 1982.]

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