- Alan W. Hirshfeld
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BornEcclefechan, (Dumfries and Galloway), Scotland, 17 December 1837
DiedJersey City, New Jersey, USA, 28 February 1903
At the United States Naval Observatory [USNO], William Harkness reduced the USNO photographic observations of the nineteenth-century transits of Venus, producing the only valid solar parallax based on that technique. He carried out research in positional astronomy, photography, spectroscopy, and instrumentation design.
Harkness was the son of Reverend Dr. James Harkness, physician and Presbyterian minister, and Jane (née Weild) Harkness. The family immigrated to the United States from Scotland in May 1839, settling in New York City, then in Fishkill, New York. Harkness attended the Chelsea Collegiate Institute in New York City and private schools in Fishkill Landing and Newburgh. He entered Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania, in 1854, but transferred to Rochester University in 1856 when his family moved t ...
- Anon. (1903). “William Harkness.” Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific 15: 172–177.
- Bigelow, Frank H. (1903). “William Harkness.” Popular Astronomy 11: 281–284.
- Dick, Steven J., Wayne Orchiston, and Tom Love (1998). “Simon Newcomb, William Harkness, and the Nineteenth-century American Transit of Venus Expeditions.” Journal for the History of Astronomy 29: 221–255.
- Hirshfeld, Alan W. (2001). Parallax: The Race to Measure the Cosmos. New York: W. H. Freeman, esp. p. 65.
- Royal Society. Catalogue of Scientific Papers. Vol. 7 (1877): 909; Vol. 10 (1894): 142; and Vol. 15 (1916): 643–644. London: C. J. Clay. (For Harkness’s publications.)
- Skinner, A. N. (1903). “William Harkness.” Science, n.s., 17: 601–604. (Contains Harkness’s autobiographical account, “Biographical Memorandum,” 602–604.)
- Harkness, William
- Reference Work Title
- Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers
- pp 904-905
- Print ISBN
- Online ISBN
- Springer New York
- Copyright Holder
- Springer Science+Business Media New York
- Additional Links
- eBook Packages
- Editor Affiliations
- 1. Department of Earth Science, University of Northern Iowa
- 2. University of California, Irvine School of Physical Sciences
- 3. Rice University
- 4. Whitman College
- 5. York Univesity
- 6. University of Wisconsin
- 7. University of Oklahoma
- 8. Harvard University
- Alan W. Hirshfeld (829)
- Author Affiliations
- 829. University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, MA, USA
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