John Goodricke

(1764—1786) astronomer

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(1764–1786) Dutch–British astronomer

Born at Groningen in the Netherlands, Goodricke was a deaf mute who, although he died when he was 21, had already done work of such importance as to receive the Copley medal of the Royal Society three years before he died. Variable stars had been discovered by Fabricius nearly 200 years before but Goodricke was the first scientist to offer a plausible explanation. Noticing the rapid variation in magnitude of Algol he proposed, in 1782, that it was being regularly eclipsed by a dark companion that passed between it and the Earth. His suggestion was confirmed a century later.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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