who by studying sunspots established the Sun's axis and rotation. He
was the first to record the observation of a solar flare, in 1859.
Carrington was born in London and educated at Cambridge. He became an
astronomical observer at Durham University. In 1853 he set up his own
observatory at Redhill, Surrey; in 1865 he moved to Churt, near Farnham,
Surrey, where he built another observatory.
Sunspot activity manifests itself in an 11-year cycle, and Carrington
observed them for seven years, plotting their positions and movements
by a method of his own devising. The principal results of this extended
work were, first, to determine the position of the Sun's axis and, second,
to show that the Sun's rotation is differential, that is, that it does
not rotate as a solid body, but turns faster at the equator than at
the poles. Carrington also derived a useful expression for the rotation
of a spot in terms of heliographical latitude.
Carrington's Catalogue of 3,735 Circumpolar Stars 1857 was so highly
regarded that it was printed by the Admiralty at public expense. An
extensive account of all the sunspot observations was published 1863.