12 June 2023
Astronomer Sir David Gill was born on 12 June 1843.
Astronomer Sir David Gill was born on 12 June 1843 in Aberdeen. Gill initially worked in his father's clock-making business, where he was able to display his flair for mechanical instruments, but sold the business to join an expedition to Mauritius in 1874.
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Whilst on board ship, he was able to observe the transit of Venus and it was during this trip, and another to Ascension Island, that he began to pioneer calcluating distances between Earth and the sun and stars.
He was one of the first astronomers to use photography to map the night sky and took the first photo of the Great Comet of 1882.
David Gill: Man and Astronomer by George Forbes