John Ellard Gore

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John Ellard Gore
John Ellard Gore.png
John Ellard Gore
Born (1845-06-01)1 June 1845
Athlone County Westmeath, Ireland
Died 18 July 1910(1910-07-18) (aged 65)
Grafton Street, Dublin, Ireland
Nationality Ireland
Fields Astronomy
Alma mater Trinity College, Dublin

John Ellard Gore (1845–1910) was an amateur Irish astronomer and prolific author, and a founding member of the British Astronomical Association. He was mainly interested in variable stars of which he discovered several, most notably W Cygni in 1884, U Orionis in 1885, and independently discovered Nova Persei.[1][2] In 2009, the IAU named a lunar impact crater after Gore.

Early life[edit]

Gore was born in Athlone, County Westmeath in 1845, the eldest son of the Venerable John Ribton Gore and Frances Brabazon Ellard. He had 3 brothers and one sister. The Gore family descended from Sir Paul Gore, 1st Baronet and John's great grandfather was Sir Arthur Gore, 1st Baronet. He studied at Trinity College and received a diploma in Civil Engineering in 1865.

Professional career[edit]

Gore worked as a railway engineer in Ireland for over two years before being appointed as an assistant engineer with the Indian Public Works Department on the Sirhind Canal project. In 1877 he returned to Ireland on two years leave of absence and lived in Ballysadare County Sligo with his father. In 1879, he retired after 11 years of service with a pension and after the death of his father in 1894, moved to Dublin where he spent the rest of his life devoted to astronomy.


Gore had no formal training in astronomy, and began to study the sky while working in India. While there, he relied on his naked eyes, binoculars, a three inch telescope and a ten centimeter telescope on an equatorial mount.[1] His first book "Southern Stellar Objects for Small Telescopes" was published in India in 1877.

On his return to Ireland in 1877, he used a three-inch telescope and binoculars.[3] He set up an observatory in Sligo, and later set up at 3 Nortumberland Street, Dublin. His greatest contribution was his studies of double and variable stars, and he published catalogues of variables and binary stars.[4]

He died from a street accident, in Dublin on 18 July 1910.[5]


In 2009, the IAU named a lunar impact crater located on the lunar near side near the northern pole after Gore.[6]


  1. ^ a b Shears, Jeremy, John Ellard Gore : of immensity and minuteness, retrieved 2014-01-29 
  2. ^ EBriggs, Obituary of John Ellard Gore (The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada), retrieved 2014-01-29 
  3. ^ Jay B. Holberg (5 July 2007). Sirius: Brightest Diamond in the Night Sky. Praxis Publishing Limited, Chichester, UK. pp. 92–. ISBN 978-0-387-48942-1. 
  4. ^ Bruck, M. T.; Conway-piskorski, M., A Medieval Irish Treatise on Astronomy Recalled, Irish Astronomers Journal, retrieved 2014-01-29 
  5. ^  Hollis, Henry Park (1912). "Gore, John Ellard". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement​. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  6. ^ Union, International Astronomical I.A.U., Planetary Names: Crater, craters: Gore on Moon, Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature, retrieved 2014-01-29