Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, JoAnn Palmeri, Daniel W. E. Green

Metcalf, Joel Hastings

  • Richard R. Didick
Reference work entry

BornMeadville, Pennsylvania, USA, 4 January 1866

DiedPortland, Maine, USA, 23 February 1925

Joel Metcalf enjoyed three simultaneous and challenging careers: a pastoral career of considerable intensity; a career as a very successful amateur astronomer with the discoveries of 41 asteroids, 5 comets, and at least 10 variable stars to his credit; and a third career as an outstanding optical designer and craftsman, with four important instruments to his credit.

Metcalf was the son of Lewis Herbert and Anna (née Hicks) Metcalf. Lewis, a Civil War veteran, lost a leg at the first battle of Bull Run and was held at Libby Prison, Richmond, Virginia. After marrying and settling in Meadville, Lewis served as a newspaper editor and as county treasurer.

At about age 13, Joel Metcalf read  Richard Proctor’s book, Other Worlds Than Ours, which triggered his lifelong interest in astronomy, an interest that was further stimulated by the close conjunctions of Jupiter and Mars in 1879 and 1881. Metcalf...

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Selected References

  1. Bailey, Solon I. (1925). “Joel Hastings Metcalf.” Popular Astronomy 33: 493–495.ADSGoogle Scholar
  2. Metcalf, Joel Hastings (1906). “An Amateur’s Observatory ” Popular Astronomy 14: 211–217.ADSGoogle Scholar
  3. — (1906). “A New Method for the Discovery of Asteroids.” Astrophysical Journal 23: 306–311.Google Scholar
  4. — (1907). “A Photographic Method for the Detection of Variability in Asteroids.” Astrophysical Journal 25: 264–266.Google Scholar
  5. Stoneham, Rachel Metcalf (1939). “Joel H. Metcalf, Clergyman-Astronomer.” Popular Astronomy 47: 22–28.ADSGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.New BedfordUSA