Brooks, William Robert
BornMaidstone, Kent, England, 11 June 1844
DiedGeneva, New York, USA, 3 May 1921
An American astronomer known for his work as a discoverer of comets, William Brooks was the son of a Baptist minister, Reverend William Brooks, and Caroline (née Wickings) Brooks. When still a small boy William accompanied his family on a voyage to Australia, during which his interest in astronomy was piqued by watching the ship’s captain make latitude and longitude determinations. At the age of 13 he immigrated with his family to Marion, New York, USA The bright and graceful comet C/1858 L1 (Donati) of 1858, which he viewed through a homemade spyglass, fascinated Brooks shortly thereafter but did not lead to his active involvement in astronomy at that time.
After his marriage to Mary E. Smith of Edwardsburg, Michigan, in 1870, Brooks settled at Phelps, in the Finger Lakes district of upstate New York, where he worked as a photographer. In his spare time, Brooks built the Red House Observatory (actually no...
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