Francis Graham-Smith
Sir Francis Graham-Smith (born 25 April 1923) is a British astronomer
An astronomer is a scientist who studies celestial bodies such as planets, stars and galaxies.Historically, astronomy was more concerned with the classification and description of phenomena in the sky, while astrophysics attempted to explain these phenomena and the differences between them using...

. He was the thirteenth Astronomer Royal
Astronomer Royal
Astronomer Royal is a senior post in the Royal Household of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. There are two officers, the senior being the Astronomer Royal dating from 22 June 1675; the second is the Astronomer Royal for Scotland dating from 1834....

 from 1982 to 1990.

He was educated at Rossall School
Rossall School
Rossall School is a British, co-educational, independent school, between Cleveleys and Fleetwood, Lancashire. Rossall was founded in 1844 by St. Vincent Beechey as a sister school to Marlborough College which had been founded the previous year...

, Lancashire
Lancashire is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in the North West of England. It takes its name from the city of Lancaster, and is sometimes known as the County of Lancaster. Although Lancaster is still considered to be the county town, Lancashire County Council is based in Preston...

, England. In the late 1940s he worked at the University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

 on the Long Michelson Interferometer
Long Michelson Interferometer
The Long Michelson Interferometer was a radio telescope interferometer built by Martin Ryle and co-workers in the late 1940s beside the rifle range to the west of Cambridge, England. The interferometer consisted of 2 fixed elements 440m apart to survey the sky using Earth rotation. It produced the ...


In 1964 he was appointed Professor of Radio Astronomy at Manchester and in 1981 director of the Royal Astronomy Laboratory. He was also director of the Royal Greenwich Observatory from 1975 to 1981.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1970 and was awarded their Royal Medal
Royal Medal
The Royal Medal, also known as The Queen's Medal, is a silver-gilt medal awarded each year by the Royal Society, two for "the most important contributions to the advancement of natural knowledge" and one for "distinguished contributions in the applied sciences" made within the Commonwealth of...

 in 1987. He was president of the Royal Astronomical Society
Royal Astronomical Society
The Royal Astronomical Society is a learned society that began as the Astronomical Society of London in 1820 to support astronomical research . It became the Royal Astronomical Society in 1831 on receiving its Royal Charter from William IV...

 from 1975 to 1977.

Sir Francis Graham-Smith is a Distinguished Supporter of the British Humanist Association
British Humanist Association
The British Humanist Association is an organisation of the United Kingdom which promotes Humanism and represents "people who seek to live good lives without religious or superstitious beliefs." The BHA is committed to secularism, human rights, democracy, egalitarianism and mutual respect...

 and is a patron of Mansfield and Sutton Astronomical Society
Mansfield and Sutton Astronomical Society
Mansfield and Sutton Astronomical Society is an amateur astronomical society in the East Midlands of England. It was formed in 1969. It is based at Sherwood Observatory, a 61cm mirror telescope which it owns and operates...


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.