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Calendar of Scientific Pioneers


January 14, 1742, Edmund Halley died.—The son of a rich London soapmaker, Halley began his astronomical work at Queen's College, Oxford, at the age of seventeen, and continued it until his death at the age of eighty-five. The friend of Newton, he succeeded Wallis as Savilian professor of geometry, Flamsteed as Astronomer-Royal, and Hans Sloane as secretary of the Royal Society. His name is associated with the study of the trade winds, the variation of the compass, Halley's comet, and man); fundamental points in astronomy. To his “great zeal, able management, unwearied perseverance, scientific attainments, and disinterested generosity” was largely due the publication of Newton's “Principia.” Halley is buried at Lee, near Greenwich, in the same tomb as Pond, Astronomer-Royal from 1811 to 1835.


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S., E. Calendar of Scientific Pioneers. Nature 106, 650 (1921).

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