John Francis Skjellerup

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John Francis Skjellerup (16 May 1875 – 6 January 1952) was an Australian who spent about a decade working as a telegraphist in South Africa, and was an astronomer.

Some sources give his name as James Francis Skjellerup; in any case, apparently he preferred to be known as Frank. His father Peder Jensen Skjellerup was Danish and died when he was young; his mother was Margaret Williamson, born in England. He was born in Cobden, Victoria, Australia.

Trained as a telegraphist, he went to South Africa when that country needed telegraphists after the Second Boer War. Apparently he was an excellent golfer as well as an astronomer. He married his wife Mary Peterson (South African) and returned with her to Australia in 1923; she died in 1950 and there were no children.

He took up astronomy in South Africa and discovered or co-discovered various comets in both South Africa and Australia, including the periodic comet 26P/Grigg-Skjellerup in South Africa and the very bright Skjellerup-Maristany (C/1927 X1) (visible mostly from the southern hemisphere) in Australia.

In addition to comets, he was also a variable star observer.

External links[edit]

]http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=XoeiJxMmXZ8C&pg=PA135&lpg=PA135&dq=John+Francis+Skjellerup&source=bl&ots=-5oDFCynNP&sig=P9WzABeFsiFYvD7LzJHjeK4XOjI&hl=en&sa=X&ei=8EL4UJPuIsOg0QWS0oHQBw&ved=0CFkQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=John%20Francis%20Skjellerup&f=false] [1]