Maskelyne, Nevil

Maskelyne, Nevil

▪ British astronomer
born Oct. 6, 1732, London
died Feb. 9, 1811, Greenwich, London
 British astronomer noted for his contribution to the science of navigation.

      Maskelyne was ordained a minister in 1755, but his interest in astronomy had been aroused by the eclipse of July 25, 1748. In 1758 he was admitted to the Royal Society of London, which in 1761 sent him to the island of St. Helena to observe a transit of Venus. During the voyage he experimented with the determination of longitude by observations of the Moon's position and introduced this method into navigation by publishing The British Mariner's Guide (1763). Succeeding Nathaniel Bliss as astronomer royal in 1765, he published the first volume of the Nautical Almanac in 1766 and continued the supervision of the almanac until his death.

      Maskelyne suggested to the Royal Society an experiment for determining the Earth's density with the use of a plumb line. He carried out the experiment two years later in Scotland on Schiehallion Mountain, North Perthshire. From his observations, it was found that the Earth's density is approximately 4.5 times that of water. He was also the first to make time measurements that were accurate to the nearest tenth of a second.

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  • Nevil Maskelyne — Nevil Maskelyne. Nevil Maskelyne (* 6. Oktober 1732 in London; † 9. Februar 1811 in Greenwich) war Mathematiker und Astronom und von 1765 bis 1811 britischer Hofastronom (Astronomer Royal) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Nevil Maskelyne — Naissance 6 octobre 1732 Londres (Angleterre) Décès 9 février 1811 Greenwich (Angleterre) Nationalité Anglaise Champs …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Maskelyne — is the surname of several people: Nevil Maskelyne (1732–1811), the fifth British Astronomer Royal Mervyn Herbert Nevil Story Maskelyne (1823 – 1911) Nevill Maskelyne Smyth, served in the First World War 1914–18. The Maskelyne family of magicians …   Wikipedia

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  • Nevil — may refer to: Surname: Alex Nevil (born 1965), an American actor and younger brother of Robbie Nevil Dwight Nevil (born 1944), an American professional golfer Robbie Nevil (born 1958), an American pop singer songwriter/producer/guitarist Given… …   Wikipedia

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