Famous British Astronomers

Astronomy in Britain goes back to the prehistoric times. British astronomers were engaged in observation and theory since times immemorial and through their ground-breaking and revolutionary research made some outstanding discoveries about the world that was beyond human comprehension for a long time. It were the English who discovered and developed new methods, theories, established facts and measured astronomic distances. William Herschel was a British astronomer of the 18th century who discovered Uranus and its two brightest moos, Titania and Oberon. His sister Caroline Herschel became the first woman astronomer to discover a comet. In her life, she discovered numerous comets. Helium gas owes its existence to Englishman Sir Joseph Lockyer who discovered its presence in the solar spectrum. British astronomer Antony Hewish was awarded Nobel Prize for his research group that discovered the first pulsar. Other popular British astronomers include Arthur S. Eddington, Sir Fred Hoyle, E Margaret Burbridge, Sir Roger Penrose and so on. Their invaluable work on astronomy has helped us better understand the universe, our solar system, sun, moon and of course our planet earth. Check this segment to find out in detail about the life, profile and works of famous British astronomers.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking
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Famous As: Theoretical Physicist, Cosmologist
Birthdate: January 8, 1942
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British
Died: March 14, 2018

Stephen Hawking was an English theoretical physicist and cosmologist, who despite being afflicted motor neurone disease that severely limited his physical abilities, was able to build a phenomenally successful career. He was the first to set out a theory of cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. Hawking was ranked 25 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons, in 2002.

 2 Robert Hooke

Robert Hooke
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: July 28, 1635
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British
Died: March 3, 1703

Scientist Robert Hooke, also called England's Leonardo, initially gained recognition as an architect, conducting surveys following the Great Fire of London. He also taught geometry and was part of the Royal Society. He assisted Robert Boyle and eventually developed his own microscope, thus becoming the first to visualize micro-organisms.

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 3 Sir Christopher Wren

Sir Christopher Wren
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Famous As: Architect
Birthdate: October 20, 1632
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British
Died: February 25, 1723

 4 James Glaisher

James Glaisher
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Famous As: Meteorologists
Birthdate: April 7, 1809
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British
Died: February 7, 1903

 5 Edmond Halley

Edmond Halley
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Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: November 8, 1656
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British
Died: January 14, 1742

 6 Jocelyn Bell Burnell

Jocelyn Bell Burnell
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Famous As: Astronomer, Astrophysicist
Birthdate: July 15, 1943
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British

 7 Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin

Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin
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Famous As: Astronomer, University teacher
Birthdate: May 10, 1900
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British, American
Died: December 7, 1979
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 8 Fred Hoyle

Fred Hoyle
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Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: June 24, 1915
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British
Died: August 20, 2001

 9 Mary Somerville

Mary Somerville
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Famous As: Mathematician, Linguist, Translator, Astronomer, Scientist
Birthdate: December 26, 1780
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British, Scottish
Died: November 28, 1872

 10 Arthur Eddington

Arthur Eddington
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Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: December 28, 1882
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British
Died: November 22, 1944

 11 John Herschel

John Herschel
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Famous As: Polymath
Birthdate: March 7, 1792
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British
Died: May 11, 1871

 12 Williamina Fleming

Williamina Fleming
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Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: May 15, 1857
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British, American, Scottish
Died: May 21, 1911

 13 William Gilbert

William Gilbert
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Famous As: Astronomer, Physicist and Physician
Birthdate: May 24, 1544
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British
Died: November 30, 1603

 14 David Brewster

David Brewster
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Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: December 11, 1781
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British, Scottish
Died: February 10, 1868

 15 Charles Mason

Charles Mason
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Famous As: astronomer
Birthdate: March 31, 1728
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British
Died: October 25, 1786

 16 Jeremiah Dixon

Jeremiah Dixon
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Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: July 27, 1733
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British
Died: January 22, 1779

 17 Henry Percy, 9th Earl of Northumberland

Henry Percy, 9th Earl of Northumberland
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Famous As: Nobleman
Birthdate: April 27, 1564
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British

 18 Antony Hewish

Antony Hewish
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Famous As: Radio Astronomer
Birthdate: May 11, 1924
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British

 19 Venetia Phair

Venetia Phair
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Famous As: Amateur astronomer
Birthdate: July 11, 1918
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British
Died: April 30, 2009

 20 George Biddell Airy

George Biddell Airy
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Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: July 27, 1801
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British
Died: January 2, 1892

 21 George Darwin

George Darwin
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Famous As: Barrister
Birthdate: July 9, 1845
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British
Died: December 7, 1912

 22 John Flamsteed

John Flamsteed
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Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: August 19, 1646
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British
Died: December 31, 1719

 23 Bernard Lovell

Bernard Lovell
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Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: August 31, 1913
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British
Died: August 6, 2012

 24 Margaret Burbidge

Margaret Burbidge
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Famous As: Astrophysicist
Birthdate: August 12, 1919
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British, American

 25 John Couch Adams

John Couch Adams
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Famous As: Mathematician, Astronomer, University teacher
Birthdate: June 5, 1819
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British
Died: January 21, 1892

 26 Martin Ryle

Martin Ryle
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Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: September 27, 1918
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British
Died: October 14, 1984

 27 James Nasmyth

James Nasmyth
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Famous As: Astronomer, Engineer
Birthdate: August 19, 1808
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British
Died: May 7, 1890

 28 James Bradley

James Bradley
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Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: February 29, 1693
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British
Died: July 13, 1762

 29 James Jeans

James Jeans
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Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: September 11, 1877
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British
Died: September 16, 1946

 30 Jeremiah Horrocks

Jeremiah Horrocks
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Famous As: astronomer, mathematician
Birthdate: 1617 AD
Nationality: British
Died: January 3, 1641

 31 Harold Jeffreys

Harold Jeffreys
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Famous As: Mathematical statistician
Birthdate: April 22, 1891
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British
Died: March 18, 1989

 32 Colin Pillinger

Colin Pillinger
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Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: May 9, 1943
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British
Died: May 7, 2014

 33 Thomas Digges

Thomas Digges
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Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: 1546 AD
Nationality: British
Died: August 24, 1595

 34 Norman Lockyer

Norman Lockyer
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Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: May 17, 1836
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British
Died: August 16, 1920

 35 William Huggins

William Huggins
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Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: February 7, 1824
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British
Died: May 12, 1910

 36 Richard Christopher Carrington

Richard Christopher Carrington
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Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: May 26, 1826
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British
Died: November 27, 1875

 37 Edmund Gunter

Edmund Gunter
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Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: 1581 AD
Nationality: British
Died: December 10, 1626

 38 William Lassell

William Lassell
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Famous As: Merchant ,Astronomer
Birthdate: June 18, 1799
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British
Died: October 5, 1880

 39 Sir William de Wiveleslie Abney

Sir William de Wiveleslie Abney
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Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: July 24, 1843
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British
Died: December 3, 1920

 40 David C. Jewitt

David C. Jewitt
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Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: 1958 AD
Nationality: British

 41 John Hadley

John Hadley
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Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: April 16, 1682
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British
Died: February 14, 1744

 42 Frank Watson Dyson

Frank Watson Dyson
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Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: January 8, 1868
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British
Died: May 25, 1939

 43 Francis Baily

Francis Baily
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Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: April 28, 1774
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British
Died: August 30, 1844

 44 Byrhtferth

Byrhtferth
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Famous As: Priest
Birthdate: 0970 AD
Nationality: British
Died: 1020 AD

 45 Warren De la Rue

Warren De la Rue
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Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: January 15, 1815
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Guernsey, British
Died: April 19, 1889

 46 Edward Bernard

Edward Bernard
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Famous As: astronomer
Birthdate: 1638 AD
Nationality: British
Died: January 12, 1697

 47 Ernest William Brown

Ernest William Brown
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Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: November 29, 1866
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British
Died: July 22, 1938

 48 Brian G. Marsden

Brian G. Marsden
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Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: August 5, 1937
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British
Died: November 18, 2010

 49 John Greaves

John Greaves
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Famous As: Mathematician, astronomer, and antiquary
Birthdate: 1602 AD
Nationality: British
Died: October 8, 1652

 50 John Russell Hind

John Russell Hind
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Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: May 12, 1823
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British
Died: December 23, 1895