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Pond, John

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BornLondon, England, 1767

DiedBlackheath, (London), England, 7 September 1836

John Pond, England's sixth Astronomer Royal, raised the observing program at the Royal Greenwich Observatory to a new standard of excellence. The son of a well‐to‐do retired businessman, Pond developed an interest in astronomical observations while being tutored at home by William Wales , who had served as astronomer and conavigator to Cook on the second voyage of the HMS Resolution. As a teenager Pond detected errors in Greenwich observations. After enrolling at age 16 as a chemistry student at Trinity College, Cambridge, he withdrew before completing his degree because of ill health. Sent abroad to warmer climates to recuperate, Pond made astronomical observations during his travels.

Upon his return to England in 1798, Pond began making astronomical observations from his private observatory near Bristol, at Westbury in Somerset, with an altazimuth refractor equipped with 2½‐ft.‐diameter circles designed...

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Selected References

  • Clerke, Agnes M. (1921–1922). “Pond, John.” In Dictionary of National Biography, edited by Sir Leslie Stephen and Sir Sidney Lee. Vol. 16, pp. 76–78. London: Oxford University Press.

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  • Forbes, Eric G. (1975). Greenwich Observatory. Vol. 1, Origins and Early History (1675–1835). London: Taylor and Francis.

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  • Ronan, Colin A. (1969). Astronomers Royal. Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Co., pp. 128–129.

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Pasachoff, N., Pasachoff, J.M. (2007). Pond, John. In: , et al. The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers. Springer, New York, NY.

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