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Autobiography of Sir George Biddell Airy

by George Biddell Airy

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His real business life commenced after he became Astronomer Royal. The 46 years that he remained in office, he was so entirely wrapped up in the duties of his post that the history of the Observatory is the history of his life.

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In Jan. 1824, at Playford, I was working on the effects of separating the two lenses of an object-glass, and on the kind of eye-piece which would be necessary: also on spherical aberrations and Saturn's figure. On my quires at Cambridge I was working on the effects of separating the object-glass lenses, with the view of correcting the secondary spectrum: and on Jan. 31st I received some numbers (indices of refraction) from Mr Herschel, and reference to Fraunhofer's numbers.



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