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William Henry Finlay

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Title: William Henry Finlay  
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Subject: Great Southern Comet of 1887, South African astronomers, Finlay, List of non-periodic comets, 1849 births
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William Henry Finlay

William Henry Finlay (born 17 June 1849 in Liverpool; died 7 December 1924 in Cape Town, South Africa) was a South African astronomer.[1] He was First Assistant at the Cape Observatory from 1873 to 1898 under Edward James Stone.[2] He discovered the periodic comet 15P/Finlay. Earlier, he was one of the first to spot the "Great Comet of 1882" (C/1882 R1).[3] The first telegraphic determinations of longitude along the western coast of Africa were made by Finlay and T. F. Pullen.[4]


  • On the variations of the instrumental adjustments of the Cape transit-circle. Annals of the Cape Observatory, vol. 1, pt. 5. 1885. 
  • Telegraphic determinations of the longitudes of Lourenco Marques (Delagoa Bay), Mozambique, and Zanzibar, and the longitude of Quilimane. Annals of the Cape Observatory, vol. 1, pt. 3. 1886. 
  • with T. F. Pullen: Telegraphic Determinations of Longitudes on the West Coast of Africa. London: Hydrographic Department, Admiralty. 1891. [5]
  • Star-correction Tables. London: H.M.'s Stationery Office. 1895. 


  1. ^ "Obituary: W. H. Finlay". Nature 115: 502–503. 4 April 1925.  
  2. ^ Hockey, Thomas (2009). The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers.  
  3. ^ "Obituary Notices: Fellows:- Finley, William Henry".  
  4. ^ "Obituary. Commander T. F. Pullen, R.N.". Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society. New Monthly Series (London) 11 (no. 12): 738–740. Dec 1889. 
  5. ^  

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