Date: 03 Sep 2014

Dreyer, John Louis Emil

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BornCopenhagen, Denmark, 13 February 1852

DiedOxford, England, 14 September 1926

Dreyer, John Louis Emil. Reproduced by permission of Armagh Observatory

John Dreyer is noted for his meticulous compilation of the New General Catalogue of Nebulae and Star Clusters[NGC] and two supplementary catalogs, his important biography of Tycho Brahe, his collection of the papers of William Herschel, and an authoritative history of astronomy.

Dreyer spent most of his working life in Ireland, although he was born in Denmark to a family with distinguished military connections. His grandfather was an officer in Napoleon’s army, and his father, Lieutenant General John Christopher Dreyer, served in the Schleswig-Holstein War in 1864, later becoming Minister of War and Marine in the Danish government.

Dreyer attended school in Copenhagen from age 5 until 17, showing great ability in history, mathematics, and physics. At the age of 14, he happened to read a book about Brahe and his observatories on the island o ...