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The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. The Columbia University Press

Gill, Sir David

Sir David Gill (gĬl), 1843–1914, Scottish astronomer, educated at the Univ. of Aberdeen. He made observations of the transits of Venus and Mars and investigated the solar parallax. As astronomer royal (1879–1907) at the Cape of Good Hope, he carried out the geodetic survey of Natal and Cape Colony and organized the geodetic survey of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). He was a leader in the use of photography in the preparation of star catalogs. His photographic survey of almost half a million stars in the Southern Hemisphere (with J. C. Kapteyn) is known as The Cape Photographic Durchmusterung for the Equinox 1875 (1896–1900). This work extended Argelander's Bonn Durchmusterung to the South Pole. Gill was knighted in 1900. His writings include his History and Description of the Royal Observatory, Cape of Good Hope (1913).


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