George Phillips Bond
(1825-1865)

 

US astronomer who developed astronomical photography and in 1850 took the first photograph of a star (Vega). His research was carried out at the Harvard Observatory together with his father, William Cranch Bond.

Bond was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, and educated at Harvard, remaining there at the observatory under his father and succeeding him as director when he died 1859.
During the late 1840s the Bonds worked on developing photographic techniques for astronomy. In 1857 George Bond became the first person to photograph a double star, Mizar, with the aid of wet collodion plates. He suggested that a star's magnitude could be quantitatively determined by measuring the size of the image it made. A bright star would affect a greater area of silver grains.
Bond also made numerous studies of comets. He discovered 11 new comets and made calculations on the factors affecting their orbits.


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