Monday, October 26, 2009

October 26: Lewis Boss

Lewis Boss
October 26, 1846 - October 12, 1912

Lewis Boss was an American astronomer. He was born in Providence, Rhode Island. In 1870 he graduated from Dartmouth College, then went to work as a clerk for the U.S. Government. He served as an assistant astronomer for a government expedition to survey the U.S-Canadian border. In 1876 he became the director of the Dudley Observatory in Schenectady, New York.

He became editor of the Astronomical Journal in 1909, but responsibility passed to his son, Benjamin Boss, upon his death in 1912. Benjamin continued to edit the journal until 1941.

Lewis Boss is noted for his work in cataloguing the locations and proper motions of stars. He also led an expedition to Chile in 1882 to observe the transit of Venus, and also catalogued information concerning cometary orbits.

In 1910, he published Preliminary General Catalogue of 6188 Stars for the Epoch 1900, a compilation of the proper motions of stars. This catalog was later expanded after his death by his son Benjamin Boss.

His most significant discovery was the calculation of the convergent point of the Hyades star cluster.

Boss was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1905.

The Lunar crater Boss is named in his honor.

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