The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2007 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, F. Jamil Ragep, JoAnn Palmeri, Marvin Bolt

Denning, William Frederick

  • Martin Beech
Reference work entry

BornRedpost, Somerset, England, 25 November 1848

DiedBristol, England, 9 June 1931

Although William Denning received no formal training as a scientist, he was considered to be one of the highest ranking of British Victorian astronomers in his later life. His reputation was built on a lifetime dedicated to the study of meteor showers and the distribution of meteor shower radiants, as well as cometary observations and planetary studies, especially of Jupiter.

Denning was the eldest of four children born to Issac Poyntz and Lydia (néePadfield) Denning. Little is known about his early childhood and education. Although he may have trained as an accountant in the Bristol area, there is no indication that it was a full‐time vocation. He earned some income by writing popular astronomy articles, and probably received occasional monetary contributions from family and friends before the British Government awarded him a Civil List Pension in 1904 for his services to astronomy and because of...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Selected References

  1. Beech, Martin (1990). “William Frederick Denning: In Quest of Meteors.” Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada 84: 383–396.ADSGoogle Scholar
  2. ——— (1991). “The Stationary Radiant Debate Revisited.” Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society 32: 245–264.ADSGoogle Scholar
  3. ——— (1992). “The Herschel–Denning Correspondence.” Vistas in Astronomy 34: 425–447.Google Scholar
  4. ——— (1998). “The Makings of Meteor Astronomy: Part XVII. W.F. Denning and Comets, Nebulae, and Novae.” WGN: Journal of the International Meteor Organization 26, no. 6: 268–272.ADSGoogle Scholar
  5. Denning, William Frederick. The Planets Mercury and Venus: Observations, surface markings and rotation periods. London: Taylor and Francis. (Undated but based on his articles in The Observatory in 1906 and 1907.)Google Scholar
  6. ——— (1891). Telescopic Work for Starlight Evenings. London: Taylor and Francis.Google Scholar
  7. ——— (1898). “The Great Red Spot on Jupiter.” Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 58: 488–493.ADSGoogle Scholar
  8. ——— (1899). “Early History of the Great Red Spot on Jupiter.” Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 59: 574–584.ADSGoogle Scholar
  9. ——— (1899). “General Catalogue of the Radiant Points of Meteoric Showers and of Fireballs and Shooting Stars observed at more that one Station.” Memoirs of the Royal Astronomical Society 53: 203–292.Google Scholar
  10. M. D. (1932). “William Frederick Denning.” Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 92: 248–250.Google Scholar
  11. ——— (1931). “Mr. W. F. Denning.” Nature 128: 12–13.ADSGoogle Scholar
  12. Olivier, Charles Pollard (1931). Letter to the Editors. Observatory 54: 282–283.Google Scholar
  13. Phillips, T. E. R. (1931). “William Frederick Denning.” Observatory 54: 277–282.Google Scholar
  14. Prentice, J. P. M. (1931). “William Frederick Denning.” Journal of the British Astronomical Association 42: 36–40.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Beech

There are no affiliations available