The Astronomer Royal reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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Astronomer Royal

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Astronomer Royal was originally the title of the director of the Royal Greenwich Observatory, but since 1972 it has simply been an honorary title.

John Flamsteed became the first Astronomer Royal when the Royal Greenwich Observatory was founded in 1675. The complete list of Astronomers Royal is given in the table below.

  1. John Flamsteed (1675 - 1719)
  2. Edmond Halley (1720 - 1742)
  3. James Bradley (1742 - 1762)
  4. Nathaniel Bliss (1762 - 1764)
  5. Nevil Maskelyne (1765 - 1811)
  6. John Pond (1811 - 1835)
  7. George Biddell Airy (1835 - 1881)
  8. William H. M. Christie (1881 - 1910)
  9. Frank Watson Dyson (1910 - 1933)
  10. Harold Spencer Jones (1933 - 1955)
  11. Richard van der Riet Woolley (1956 - 1971)
  12. Martin Ryle (1972 - 1982)
  13. Francis Graham Smith (1982 - 1990)
  14. Arnold Wolfendale (1991 - 1995)
  15. Martin Rees (since 1995)