William Cranch Bond


US astronomer who established the Harvard College Observatory as a centre of astronomical research. Much of his work as done in collaboration with his son George Phillips Bond. He also designed chronometers.

Bond was born in Falmouth, Maine, and worked as a watchmaker. An amateur astronomer, he was one of the independent observers who discovered the comet of 1811. He was commissioned by Harvard College to investigate the equipment at observatories in England during a trip he made there in 1815, and in 1839 Harvard invited him to move his private observatory into their premises. Bond thus became the first director of the Harvard College Observatory.
William and George Bond discovered Hyperion (the eighth satellite of Saturn) 1848 and the Crêpe Ring (a faint ring inside two bright rings) around Saturn 1850. Their observation that stars could be seen through the Crêpe Ring led to their conclusion that the rings of Saturn are not solid.
The two Bonds also collaborated on the development of photographic techniques for astronomy. They took superior photographs of the Moon, and the first photographs of stars.

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