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Reflections on the Astronomy of GlasgowA story of some 500 years$
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David Clarke

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748678891

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748678891.001.0001

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University Gardens

University Gardens

(p.312) Chapter 11 University Gardens
Reflections on the Astronomy of Glasgow

David Clarke

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter deals with the development of Glasgow's astronomy under Professor William Smart. Some of his early work in Cambridge was related to the motions of the newly discovered Trojan satellites of Jupiter. His career and direction of work within the subject was changed by World War I naval service and by making contributions to navigational practices. On taking the Glasgow Chair in 1937, Horselethill Observatory and its land were sold. A modest teaching observatory in University Gardens close to the main campus at Gilmorehill was opened in 1939. Although a man of practical and observational experiences, Smart abandoned any prospect of observational research in Glasgow and he continued with theoretical topics and data reductions related to stellar streaming within the Galaxy; he produced classical texts on stellar kinematics. Again, directions of teaching were affected by World War II as aircraft navigation developed as an important facet. He wrote several texts of merit in addition to some popular descriptive books. In the 1950s the face of astronomy changed with the physical understanding of the nature of heavenly objects coming to the fore. This can be seen through the appointments of staff bringing new interests and disciplines to the local scene.

Keywords:   Professor William Smart, Trojan satellites, Horselethill Observatory, Star streaming, Stellar kinematics, Aircraft navigation

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