A. David Thackeray

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This article is about the astronomer. For the footballer, see David Thackeray (footballer).

Andrew David Thackeray (19 June 1910 – 21 February 1978),[1][2] was an astronomer trained at Cambridge University. He served as director of the Radcliffe Observatory for 23 years.


Career[edit]

Thackeray went to school at Eton College and studied mathematics at King's College, Cambridge.[2] He received a PhD on theoretical stellar spectroscopy in 1937 from the Solar Physics Laboratory in Cambridge. During his studies he worked at the Mount Wilson Observatory in California from 1934 to 1936.[3] He was Assistant Director of the Solar Physics Observatory at Cambridge Observatory from 1937 to 1948.[4] He was then director of the Radcliffe Observatory in Pretoria from 1951 until it was merged with the Royal Observatory, Cape of Good Hope in 1974 to form the South African Astronomical Observatory.[3] He became an honorary professor of the University of Cape Town and, a few days before his death, an Associate of the Royal Astronomical Society.[3]

Research[edit]

He specialized in stellar spectroscopy. At a conference of the International Astronomical Union in Rome in 1952, he presented results of studies of variable stars in the Magellanic Clouds, indicating that the perceived age and size of the universe had to be doubled. He was the discoverer of Thackeray's Globules in 1950.[5]

Personal life[edit]

He was born on 19 June 1910 in Chelsea, London.[3] His father was the classical scholar H St. J Thackeray.[2] He died in an accident on 21 February 1978.[1]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Thackeray, A.D. Astronomical spectroscopy. Eyre & Spottiswood, London, 1961, 256 pp.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "A.D. Thackeray". South African journal of science (South African Association for the Advancement of Science) 73–4. 1978. 
  2. ^ a b c "Obituaries". Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society (Royal Astronomical Society) 20. 1979. 
  3. ^ a b c d Glass, I.S. (2009). "Andrew David Thackeray at the Radcliffe Observatory". Transactions of Royal Society of South Africa (Taylor & Francis) 64 (1): 76–8. doi:10.1080/00359190909519240. 
  4. ^ Stratton, F.J.M. "The History of the Cambridge Observatories" Annals of the Solar Physics Observatory, Cambridge Vol. I (1949)
  5. ^ Thackeray, A. D. (1950). "Some southern stars involved in nebulosity". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 110: 524. Bibcode:1950MNRAS.110..524T. doi:10.1093/mnras/110.6.524. 

External links[edit]