Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BOND, William Cranch, astronomer, born in Portland, Maine, 9 September 1789; died in Cambridge, Massachusetts, 29 January 1859. He was the son of a watchmaker, and was brought up to that trade, but at the same time studied astronomy and conducted observations in a private observatory that he built in Dorchester. In 1815 he went to Europe to carry out a commission for Harvard University with reference to a contemplated observatory. In 1838 the United States government commissioned him to conduct a series of astronomical and meteorological observations in connection with the exploring expedition to the South sea. He superintended the erection of the Harvard observatory in 1839 and became its director. The result of his observations was published in the "Annals of the Observatory of Harvard College." Those on Saturn and the fixed stars gave him an extensive reputation. He was associated with his son, George Phillips, in the discovery of the eighth satellite of Saturn and of the single moon of Neptune, and was also one of the earliest astronomers that employed photography to record the aspects of heavenly bodies.*His son, George Phillips, astronomer, born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, in 1825, died in Cambridge, Massachusetts, 17 February 1865, was graduated at Harvard in 1845, and in February 1859, was appointed professor of astronomy and director of the observatory of Harvard College. Among other works he wrote "A Treatise on the Construction of the Rings of Saturn," in which their fluid nature was first established; another on the "Elements of the Orbits of Hyperion and the Satellite of Neptune," having participated in the discovery of both. He published papers also on the nebula of Andromeda, on various comets, and on stellar photography. The royal astronomical society of London voted a gold medal to Mr. Bond for a work on the Donati comet (Cambridge, 1862).
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