4 Jul 1826 - Parramatta Observatory appointment

#OnThisDay 4 July 1826 Carl Rumker was appointed to take charge of the Parramatta Observatory. Rumker had discovered Encke's Comet in 1822 and a new comet in the constellation Orion in September 1826.

Extract from the catalogue

Parramatta Observatory (Agency 115)

In 1821, Sir Thomas Brisbane was appointed Governor of New South Wales and with the assistance of Carl Rumker and James Dunlop, established a private observatory near Government House in Parramatta. They began observations in 1822. (1) On 2 June 1822 Rumker rediscovered Enke's Comet.(2) for which he received recognition from the Council of the Royal Society and a Gold medal from the Institute of France "as a token of their opinion of the greatest triumph Modern Astronomy has to boast of " (3) Disagreement with the Governor led to his retiring to his land in Reservoir Hill by May, 1825 (4) However in September, 1826 he reported finding another comet in the Orion constellation from the Observatory at Parramatta. (5)

When Brisbane left New South Wales at the end of 1825, the instruments were sold to the Government "not deeming it advisable to lose so favourable an opportunity as the acquisition of those Instruments afforded for promoting the Interests of Science in that Quarter of the Globe" (6) Rumker was appointed to take charge of the Observatory. He was selected by the Executive Council, 4 July 1826, to measure an arc of the meridian in New South Wales (7)...

Read more about Parramatta Observatory in the catalogue »


From the Collection


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