Alvan Clark bigraphy, stories - American astronomer

Alvan Clark : biography

March 8, 1804 - August 19, 1887

Alvan Clark (March 8, 1804 – August 19, 1887), born in Ashfield, Massachusetts, the descendant of a Cape Cod whaling family of English ancestry, was an American astronomer and telescope maker. He was a portrait painter and engraver (ca.1830s-1850s), and at the age of 40 became involved in telescope making. Using glass blanks made by Chance Brothers of Birmingham and Feil-Mantois of Paris, his firm Alvan Clark & Sons ground lenses for refracting telescopes, including the largest in the world at the time: the at Dearborn Observatory at the Old University of Chicago (the lens was originally intended for Ole Miss), the two telescopes at the United States Naval Observatory and McCormick Observatory, the at Pulkovo Observatory (destroyed in the Siege of Leningrad; only the lens survives), the telescope at Lick Observatory (still third-largest) and later the at Yerkes Observatory, which remains the largest successful refracting telescope in the world. One of Clark's sons, Alvan Graham Clark, discovered the dim companion of Sirius. His other son was George Bassett Clark; both sons were partners in the firm.

Two craters bear his name. The Clark on the Moon is joinly named for him and his son, Alvan Graham Clark, and one on Mars is named in his honor.

Image gallery

Portraits by Clark

Image:FemalePortrait ca1835 byAlvanClark MetropolitanMuseumOfArt.png|Portrait of an unidentified woman, ca.1835 (Metropolitan Museum of Art) Image:JohnPickering ca1840 byAlvanClark MFA Boston.png|Portrait of John Pickering, ca.1840 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) Image:SamuelHallGregory ca1840s byAlvanClark Smithsonian.png|Portrait of Samuel Hall Gregory, ca.1840s (Smithsonian) Image:1846 JosephStory byAlvanClark MFABoston.png|Portrait of Joseph Story, 1846 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

Living octopus

Living octopus

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