Lewis Boss bigraphy, stories - American astronomer

Lewis Boss : biography

26 October 1846 - 5 October 1912

Lewis Boss (26 October 1846 – 5 October 1912) was an American astronomer.


He was born in Providence, Rhode Island to Samuel P. and Lucinda (née Joslin) Boss, and attended secondary school at the Lapham Institute in North Scituate and the New Hampton Institution in New Hampshire. In 1870 he graduated from Dartmouth College, then went to work as a clerk for the U.S. Government. He served as an assistant astronomer for a government expedition to survey the U.S-Canadian border. In 1876 he became the directory of the Dudley Observatory in Schenectady, New York.

Boss is noted for his work in cataloguing the locations and proper motions of stars. He also led an expedition to Chile in 1882 to observe the transit of Venus, and catalogued information concerning cometary orbits. His most significant discovery was the calculation of the convergent point of the Hyades star cluster. He was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1905.

He became editor of the Astronomical Journal in 1909, and the following year published Preliminary General Catalogue of 6188 Stars for the Epoch 1900, a compilation of the proper motions of stars. Following his death in 1912, responsibility for the Astronomical Journal passed to his son, Benjamin Boss. Benjamin continued to edit the journal until 1941 and also expanded his father's star catalogue, publishing the Boss General Catalogue in 1936.

The Moon crater Boss is named in his honor.

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