William Rutter Dawes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other people named William Dawes, see William Dawes (disambiguation).
William Rutter Dawes
Dawes William Rutter.jpg
William R. Dawes
Born (1799-03-19)19 March 1799
West Sussex
Died 15 February 1868(1868-02-15) (aged 68)
Citizenship English
Fields Astronomy
Notable awards Gold Medal

William Rutter Dawes (19 March 1799 – 15 February 1868) was an English astronomer.


Dawes was born in West Sussex, the son of William Dawes, also an astronomer, and Judith Rutter.[1]

Dawes was a clergyman who made extensive measurements of double stars as well as observations of planets. He was a friend of William Lassell. He was nicknamed "eagle eye". He set up his private observatory at his home in Haddenham, Buckinghamshire. One of his telescopes, an eight-inch refractor by Cooke, survives at the Cambridge Observatory where it is known as the Thorrowgood Telescope.

He made extensive drawings of Mars during its 1864 opposition. In 1867, Richard Anthony Proctor made a map of Mars based on these drawings.

He won the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1855.

Craters on Mars and on the Moon are named after him, as is a gap within Saturn's C Ring.

An optical phenomenon, the Dawes limit, is named for him.

Selected writings[edit]

  • Dawes, William Rutter (1849). The Stars in Six Maps, on the Gnomonic Projection. C. Knight. 


  1. ^ Hockey, Thomas (2009). The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers. Springer Publishing. ISBN 978-0-387-31022-0. Retrieved August 22, 2012. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Ashbrook, Joseph (1984). The Astronomical Scrapbook. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Sky Publishing. pp. 360–365.  (Adapted from Sky & Telescope, July, 1973, page 27)
  • Hoskin, Michael (1970–80). "Dawes, William Rutter". Dictionary of Scientific Biography 3. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. pp. 605–606. ISBN 978-0-684-10114-9. 

External links[edit]