Mr Jack Greene – The Georgian Astronomer

Mr Jack Greene portrays a Georgian astronomer, the 18th century being a particularly exciting time for studying the cosmos, now that Isaac Newton has finally settled that the earth circles the sun.

Early in the century Edmund Halley, the Astronomer Royal, had predicted that a strange comet seen several times in history would return in 1758 – Halley died in 1742, would his prediction come true?   Meanwhile a common clockmaker called Harrison had proposed to the Royal Astronomical Society that one of his clocks could solve the difficult problem of measuring longitude at sea! Naturally the Society was scornful of this idea, believing that only learned astronomers could solve the problem, so they refused to take him seriously. Who will turn out to be right?

Many other matters interest Mr Greene, such as predicting and observing eclipses of the sun, how to use astronomy to measure the size of the earth, and the uses of the ancient arab instrument called the astrolabe. He will be only too pleased to discuss these matters, and if the moon is really made of green cheese, with anyone who cares to enquire.