Thomas Wright (22 September 1711 –25 February 1786) was an English astronomer, mathematician, instrument maker, architect and garden designer. He was the first to describe the shape of the Milky Way and to speculate that faint nebulae were distant galaxies.
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.
An astronomer is a scientist in the field of astronomy who focuses their studies on a specific question or field outside the scope of Earth. They observe astronomical objects such as stars, planets, moons, comets, and galaxies – in either observational or theoretical astronomy. Examples of topics or fields astronomers study include planetary science, solar astronomy, the origin or evolution of stars, or the formation of galaxies. Related but distinct subjects like physical cosmology, which studies the Universe as a whole.
A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics in his or her work, typically to solve mathematical problems.
Wright was born at Byers Green in County Durham being the third son of John and Margaret Wright of Pegg's Poole House.His father was a carpenter. He was educated at home as he suffered from speech impediment and then at King James I Academy. In 1725 he entered into clock-making apprenticeship to Bryan Stobart of Bishop Auckland, continuing to study on his own. He also took courses on mathematics and navigation at a free school in the parish of Gateshead founded by Dr. Theophilus Pickering. Then, he went to London to study mathematical instrument-making with Heath and Sisson and made a trial sea voyage to Amsterdam.
Byers Green is a village in County Durham, in England. It is situated to the north of Bishop Auckland, between Willington and Spennymoor, and a short distance from the River Wear.
County Durham is a county in North East England. The county town is Durham, a cathedral city. The largest settlement is Darlington, closely followed by Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees. It borders Tyne and Wear to the north east, Northumberland to the north, Cumbria to the west and North Yorkshire to the south. The county's historic boundaries stretch between the rivers Tyne and Tees, thus including places such as Gateshead, Jarrow, South Shields and Sunderland.
Speech disorders or speech impediments are a type of communication disorder where 'normal' speech is disrupted. This can mean stuttering, lisps, etc. Someone who is unable to speak due to a speech disorder is considered mute.
In 1730, he set up a school in Sunderland, where he taught mathematics and navigation.He later moved back to London to work on a number of projects for his wealthy patrons. That was before retiring to County Durham and building a small observatory at Westerton.
Navigation is a field of study that focuses on the process of monitoring and controlling the movement of a craft or vehicle from one place to another. The field of navigation includes four general categories: land navigation, marine navigation, aeronautic navigation, and space navigation.
London is the capital of and largest city in England and the United Kingdom, and the largest city in the European Union. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.
An observatory is a location used for observing terrestrial or celestial events. Astronomy, climatology/meteorology, geophysical, oceanography and volcanology are examples of disciplines for which observatories have been constructed. Historically, observatories were as simple as containing an astronomical sextant or Stonehenge.
Wright's publication An original theory or new hypothesis of the Universe (1750) explained the appearance of the Milky Way as "an optical effect due to our immersion in what locally approximates to a flat layer of stars."
His idea was taken up and elaborated by Immanuel Kant in his Universal Natural History and Theory of the Heavens .[ citation needed ] Another of his ideas, which is also often attributed to Kant, was that many faint nebulae are actually incredibly distant galaxies. Wright wrote:
Immanuel Kant was an influential German philosopher in the Age of Enlightenment. In his doctrine of transcendental idealism, he argued that space, time, and causation are mere sensibilities; "things-in-themselves" exist, but their nature is unknowable. In his view, the mind shapes and structures experience, with all human experience sharing certain structural features. He drew a parallel to the Copernican revolution in his proposition that worldly objects can be intuited a priori ('beforehand'), and that intuition is therefore independent from objective reality. Kant believed that reason is the source of morality, and that aesthetics arise from a faculty of disinterested judgment. Kant's views continue to have a major influence on contemporary philosophy, especially the fields of epistemology, ethics, political theory, and post-modern aesthetics.
Universal Natural History and Theory of the Heavens, subtitled or an Attempt to Account for the Constitutional and Mechanical Origin of the Universe upon Newtonian Principles, is a work written and published anonymously by Immanuel Kant in 1755.
...the many cloudy spots, just perceivable by us, as far without our Starry regions, in which tho' visibly luminous spaces, no one star or particular constituent body can possibly be distinguished; those in all likelihood may be external creation, bordering upon the known one, too remote for even our telescopes to reach.
Wright emphasised that Earth and the human race are insignificant and transitory parts of a vast universe:
In this great Celestial Creation, the Catastrophy of a World, such as ours, or even the total Dissolution of a System of Worlds, may possibly be no more to the great Author of Nature, than the most common Accident in Life with us, and in all Probability such final and general DoomsDays may be as frequent there, as even Birth-Days or Mortality with us upon this Earth.
Wright has been credited with work for William Capel, 3rd Earl of Essex at Cassiobury Park in Watford, illustrating his designs in A Walk in Cassiobury Gardens and Views of Cassiobury. In Grotesque Architecture of 1767 there is a design for a rockwork bridge to decorate "the fine piece of water" he had "with great pleasure seen... at Cassiobury", believed[ by whom? ] to be by Wright. A man of talents, he also gave the Earl's daughters mathematical instruction. Another patron was the Earl of Halifax, at Horton House.
In the 1750s, he laid out the grounds of Netheravon House, Wiltshire.He designed in 1769 the folly or eye-catcher known as Codger Fort at Rothley, Northumberland, on the Wallington Hall estate.
He was also credited with expanding the Grand Orrery [ where? ] to include Saturn.
Wright died in 1786 in Byers Green and was buried in the churchyard of St Andrew's, South Church, Bishop Auckland. He was survived by his illegitimate daughter.
Edwin Powell Hubble was an American astronomer. He played a crucial role in establishing the fields of extragalactic astronomy and observational cosmology and is regarded as one of the most important astronomers of all time.
A galaxy is a gravitationally bound system of stars, stellar remnants, interstellar gas, dust, and dark matter. The word galaxy is derived from the Greek galaxias (γαλαξίας), literally "milky", a reference to the Milky Way. Galaxies range in size from dwarfs with just a few hundred million stars to giants with one hundred trillion stars, each orbiting its galaxy's center of mass.
Timeline of galaxies, clusters of galaxies, and large-scale structure of the universe
This timeline of cosmological theories and discoveries is a chronological record of the development of humanity's understanding of the cosmos over the last two-plus millennia. Modern cosmological ideas follow the development of the scientific discipline of physical cosmology.
Johann Heinrich Lambert was a Swiss polymath who made important contributions to the subjects of mathematics, physics, philosophy, astronomy and map projections. Edward Tufte calls him and William Playfair "The two great inventors of modern graphical designs".
Earl of Essex is a title in the Peerage of England which was first created in the 12th century by King Stephen of England. The title has been recreated eight times from its original inception, beginning with a new first Earl upon each new creation. Possibly the most well-known Earls of Essex were Thomas Cromwell, chief minister to King Henry VIII, and Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex (1565–1601), a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I who led the Earl of Essex Rebellion in 1601.
Permutation City is a 1994 science-fiction novel by Greg Egan that explores many concepts, including quantum ontology, through various philosophical aspects of artificial life and simulated reality. Sections of the story were adapted from Egan's 1992 short story "Dust", which dealt with many of the same philosophical themes. Permutation City won the John W. Campbell Award for the best science-fiction novel of the year in 1995 and was nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award the same year. The novel was also cited in a 2003 Scientific American article on multiverses by Max Tegmark.
Harlow Shapley was an American scientist, head of the Harvard College Observatory (1921–1952), and political activist during the latter New Deal and Fair Deal.
William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse HFRSE, was an Anglo-Irish astronomer who had several telescopes built. His 72-inch telescope, built in 1845 and colloquially known as the "Leviathan of Parsonstown", was the world's largest telescope, in terms of aperture size, until the early 20th century. From April 1807 until February 1841, he was styled as Baron Oxmantown.
The Great Debate, also called the Shapley–Curtis Debate, was held on 26 April 1920 at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, between the astronomers Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis. It concerned the nature of so-called spiral nebulae and the size of the universe; Shapley believed that distant nebulae were relatively small and lay within the outskirts of Earth's home galaxy, while Curtis held that they were in fact independent galaxies, implying that they were exceedingly large and distant.
In physics and cosmology, the mathematical universe hypothesis (MUH), also known as the ultimate ensemble theory, is a speculative "theory of everything" (TOE) proposed by cosmologist Max Tegmark.
The Milky Way is the galaxy that contains the Solar System. The name describes the galaxy's appearance from Earth: a hazy band of light seen in the night sky formed from stars that cannot be individually distinguished by the naked eye. The term Milky Way is a translation of the Latin via lactea, from the Greek γαλαξίας κύκλος. From Earth, the Milky Way appears as a band because its disk-shaped structure is viewed from within. Galileo Galilei first resolved the band of light into individual stars with his telescope in 1610. Until the early 1920s, most astronomers thought that the Milky Way contained all the stars in the Universe. Following the 1920 Great Debate between the astronomers Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, observations by Edwin Hubble showed that the Milky Way is just one of many galaxies.
The history of the Big Bang theory began with the Big Bang's development from observations and theoretical considerations. Much of the theoretical work in cosmology now involves extensions and refinements to the basic Big Bang model.
Arthur Capell, 1st Baron Capell, of Hadham Hall and Cassiobury House, Watford, both in Hertfordshire, was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1640 until 1641 when he was raised to the peerage as Baron Capell. He supported the Royalist cause in the Civil War and was executed on the orders of parliament in 1649.
In astronomy, Galactocentrism is the theory that the Milky Way Galaxy, home of Earth's Solar System, is at or near the center of the Universe.
George Capel-Coningsby, 5th Earl of Essex FSA was an English aristocrat and politician, and styled Viscount Malden until 1799. His surname was Capell until 1781.
The center of the Universe is a concept that lacks a coherent definition in modern astronomy; according to standard cosmological theories on the shape of the universe, it has no center.
Arthur Algernon Capell was an English aristocrat who succeed to the title Earl of Essex in 1839.
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