Sir JOSEPH NORMAN LOCKYER KCB FRS

Lockyer was a fascinating person. He was born in Rugby on 17th May 1836 then educated at private schools on the continent.

From 1857 he worked at the War Office before being appointed Secretary of a Royal Commission for the Advancement of Science in 1870. In 1875, when the commissions work was completed, he was given an appointment at the Royal College of Science (now part of Imperial College). He went on to become the worlds first ever professor of astronomical research in 1885. A new Solar Observatory was built for him at the college which he directed until 1902.

He then built his own observatory in Salcombe, Devon which opened in 1912. This is where he continued to work up until his death on 16th August 1920.

Lockyer achieved many great things in his lifetime.

He discovered a new element, helium, pioneered new astronomical techniques, founded a scientific journal, promoted science at all levels and investigated ancient temples and stone circles.

He was knighted, honoured by the french Academy of Sciences and made a Fellow of the Royal Society.

He is known as one of the founders of astrophysics and the father of astro-archaeology.

Lockyer was not only a great scientist, but an inspired teacher and a determined promotor of science.

Portrait of Lockyer

Archaeoastronomy Astrophysics Eclipses Helium Knighthood
NATURE Observatory Solar Research Stellar Research Teacher

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