Obituary | Published:

[Obituaries]

    Abstract

    MR. T. W. BACKHOUSE, of West Hendon House Observatory, Sunderland, who died on March 13 in his seventy-eighth year, devoted a large part of his life to scientific pursuits, and carried on for more than sixty years a series of meteorological and astronomical observations. He was a frequent contributor to our correspondence columns, and a most successful student of those minute differences in the appearance of the sky or of the atmosphere that escape untrained observers, who prefer to consult the barometer rather than natural phenomena. Four volumes of Publications were issued by him from, his observatory, and the last, in 1915, summed up the accumulated records, extending over fifty years, of his skill and vigilance as an observer. In 1912 Mr. Backhouse published a valuable new catalogue of 9842 stars, containing all stars conspicuous to the naked eye. The catalogue was designed specially to afford assistance in the observation of meteors, to which Mr. Backhouse himself gave much attention; but it has been found useful by many other astronomers. His last communication was on the subject of the January meteors (Quadrantids) of 1917 (NATURE, vol. c, p. 313). Mr. Backhouse became a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1873, and of the Royal Meteorological Society in 1892.

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