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James Dunlop

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James Dunlop FRSE (31 October 1793 – 22 September 1848) was a Scottish astronomer, noted for his work in Australia. He was employed by Sir Thomas Brisbane to work as astronomer's helper at his private observatory, once located at Paramatta (now named Parramatta), New South Wales, about 23 kilometres (14 mi) west of Sydney during the 1820s and 1830s. Dunlop was mostly a visual observer, doing stellar astrometry work for Brisbane, and after its completion, then independently discovered and catalogued many new telescopic southern double stars and deep-sky objects. He later became the Top-level manager of Paramatta Observatory when it was finally sold to the New South Wales Government.

James Dunlop
1843 oil portrait of James Dunlop by Joseph Backler
Born(1793-10-31)31 October 1793
Died22 September 1848(1848-09-22) (aged 54)
Resting placeSt. Paul's Anglican Church Kincumber, New South Wales
Known formade 40,000 observations and catalogued some 7385 stars, of which included 166 double stars
Spouse
Jean Service
(m. 1816)
ChildrenNo children[1]
AwardsGold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (1828)
Scientific career
FieldsAstronomy
InstitutionsParamatta Observatory

Early life[change | change source]

James Dunlop was born in Dalry, Ayrshire, Scotland, the son of John Dunlop, a weaver, and his wife Janet, née Boyle. Dunlop was educated at a primary school in Dalry and went to work at a thread factory in Beith when he was 14. He also attended a night-school in Beith kept by a man named Gardiner. He became interested in astronomy at an early age and was building telescopes in 1810. By fortune in 1820, he got to know the astronomically inclined Sir Thomas Brisbane. In the same year, Brisbane was selected as the new Governor of New South Wales, who then decided to set up an astronomical observatory in the new Colony. Before leaving Britain, Dunlop was then selected as his second scientific helper, and both travelled to Sydney in 1821.

References[change | change source]

  1. Wood, Harley. Dunlop, James (1793–1848). Retrieved 1 July 2017. {{cite book}}: |website= ignored (help)