Frank Washington Very

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Frank Washington Very (1852 – November 23, 1927) was a U.S. astronomer. He was born at Salem, Massachusetts, and educated at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1873).

He worked at the Allegheny Observatory from 1878 until 1895. In 1890 he became a professor at Western University of Pennsylvania. He then was acting director of the Ladd Observatory at Brown University from 1896 to 1897.

His most important work was in measuring the temperature of the surfaces of the Moon and other planets using a bolometer. Samuel Pierpont Langley published in 1890 a widely read paper on the Moon observations, but for unknown reasons omitted Very's name from the list of authors. In 1891, Very published his own paper about the "Distribution of the Moon's Heat," which also included measurements taken during a lunar eclipse.

Craters on Mars and the Moon are named in his honor.


Samuel P. Langley (and Frank W. Very), 1890, The Temperature of the Moon, Memoir of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. iv. 9th mem. 193pp

Very, Frank W., 1891, Prize essay on the distribution of the moon's heat and its variation with the phase, Utrecht Society of arts and sciences, Nijhoff, The Hague, 59 pp.

Very, Frank W., 1900, Atmospheric radiation : a research conducted at the Allegheny Observatory and at Providence, R.I., Bulletin / Weather Bureau, U.S. Department of Agriculture ; no. 221, 134 pp.

Very, Frank W., 1919, The luminiferous ether: (I) its relation to the electron and to a universal interstellar medium; (II) its relation to the atom, Occasional scientific papers of the Westwood Astrophysical Observatory ; no. 2, 55 pp.

  • Wikisource-logo.svg This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainGilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). "article name needed". New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead.

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butts were used to find temPeratures. BUTTS