William Rutter Dawes

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William Rutter Dawes
Dawes William Rutter.jpg
William R. Dawes
Born(1799-03-19)19 March 1799
Died15 February 1868(1868-02-15) (aged 68)
AwardsGold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (1855)
Scientific career

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


Dawes was born at Christ's Hospital[1] in Horsham District of West Sussex, the son of William Dawes, also an astronomer, and Judith Rutter.[2]

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 (200mm) aperture 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.

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

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

Selected writings[edit]

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


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 (1970–1980). "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]