Sunday, January 18, 2009

January 18: Warren De la Rue

Warren De la Rue 
January 18, 1815 – April 19, 1889

Warren De la Rue was a British astronomer and chemist, most famous for his pioneering work in the application of the art of photography to astronomical research.

In 1851 his attention was drawn to a daguerreotype of the Moon by G. P. Bond, shown at the great exhibition of that year. Excited to emulation and employing the more rapid wet-collodion process, he succeeded before long in obtaining exquisitely defined lunar pictures, which remained unsurpassed until the appearance of the Lewis Morris Rutherfurd photographs in 1865.

He was twice president of the Chemical Society, and also of the Royal Astronomical Society (1864–1866). In 1862 he received the gold medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, and in 1864 a Royal medal from the Royal Society, for his observations on the total eclipse of the sun in 1860, and for his improvements in astronomical photography.

The crater De La Rue on the Moon is named in his honor.

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