Thursday, January 15, 2009

January 15: Arthur Butler Phillips Mee

Arthur Butler Phillips Mee 
October 21, 1860 - January 15, 1926 

Arthur Mee was a Scottish-born newspaper journalist, editor and notable amateur astronomer. In 1892 he moved to Cardiff where he began working at the Western Mail, a regional newspaper. He continued to work at the same newspaper up until his death, writing a regular column and performing editorial work as an assistant.  

He was most noted for his efforts in support of amateur astronomy. In 1890 he was a founding member of the British Astronomical Association, and for a period of time was a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. His observations focused on the Moon and Mars, including making detailed charts and drawings of the features. Two of his drawings appeared in La Planète Mars by Camille Flammarion. He was a regular contributor to various scientific and technical publications. In 1892 he became the first person to observe the shadow of the moon Titan during a transit of the planet Saturn. In 1893 he published the book Observational Astronomy. Two years later in 1895 he helped initiate foundation of the Astronomical Society of Wales, thereafter becoming the first president and editing the Society's journal.  

The crater Mee on the Moon is named in his honor.

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