Philip Herbert Cowell

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Minor planets discovered: 1
4358 Lynn 5 October 1909

Philip Herbert Cowell FRS[1] (7 August 1870, Calcutta – 6 June 1949) was a British astronomer.[2][3][4]

Philip Herbert Cowell was born in Calcutta, India and educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge.[5] He became second chief assistant at the Royal Greenwich Observatory in 1896 and later became the Superintendent of HM Nautical Almanac Office during 1910–1930. He worked on celestial mechanics, and orbits of comets and minor planets in particular. He also carefully studied the discrepancy that then existed between the theory and observation of the position of the Moon.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in May 1906.[1][6] He won the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1911.

He discovered the asteroid 4358 Lynn.

He died in Aldeburgh, Suffolk. The asteroid 1898 Cowell is named after him.


  1. ^ a b Whittaker, E. T. (1949). "Philip Herbert Cowell. 1870-1949". Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society 6 (18): 375–326. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1949.0003. JSTOR 768930. 
  2. ^ "Obituary Notices : Cowell, Philip Herbert". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 110: 125–128. 1950. Bibcode:1950MNRAS.110R.125.. doi:10.1093/mnras/110.2.125a. 
  3. ^ "Notes : Obituaries". The Observatory 69: 159. August 1949. Bibcode:1949Obs....69..159. 
  4. ^ "General Notes". Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific 61: 241. October 1949. Bibcode:1949PASP...61..241.. doi:10.1086/126191. 
  5. ^ "Cowell, Philip Herbert (CWL889PH)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  6. ^ "Library and Archive Catalogue". royal Society. Retrieved 24 December 2010.