William Henry Finlay

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William Henry Finlay (born 17 June 1849 in Liverpool; died 7 December 1924 in Cape Town, South Africa) was a South African astronomer.[1] He was First Assistant at the Cape Observatory from 1873 to 1898 under Edward James Stone.[2] He discovered the periodic comet 15P/Finlay. Earlier, he was one of the first to spot the "Great Comet of 1882" (C/1882 R1).[3] The first telegraphic determinations of longitude along the western coast of Africa were made by Finlay and T. F. Pullen.[4]


  • On the variations of the instrumental adjustments of the Cape transit-circle. Annals of the Cape Observatory, vol. 1, pt. 5. 1885.
  • Telegraphic determinations of the longitudes of Lourenco Marques (Delagoa Bay), Mozambique, and Zanzibar, and the longitude of Quilimane. Annals of the Cape Observatory, vol. 1, pt. 3. 1886.
  • with T. F. Pullen: Telegraphic Determinations of Longitudes on the West Coast of Africa. London: Hydrographic Department, Admiralty. 1891.[5]
  • Star-correction Tables. London: H.M.'s Stationery Office. 1895.


  1. ^ "Obituary: W. H. Finlay". Nature. 115: 502–503. 4 April 1925. Bibcode:1925Natur.115..502.. doi:10.1038/115502b0.
  2. ^ Hockey, Thomas (2009). The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers. Springer Publishing. ISBN 978-0-387-31022-0. Retrieved August 22, 2012.
  3. ^ "Obituary Notices: Fellows:- Finley, William Henry". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 85: 309–310. 1925. Bibcode:1925MNRAS..85..309.. doi:10.1093/mnras/85.4.309.
  4. ^ "Obituary. Commander T. F. Pullen, R.N.". Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society. New Monthly Series. London. 11 (no. 12): 738–740. Dec 1889. JSTOR 1801098.
  5. ^ Jacoby, Harold (1891). "Review: Telegraphic Determinations of Longitudes on the West Coast of Africa, by T. F. Pullen and W. H. Finlay". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 1 (1): 27–28. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1891-00024-3.

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