20 January-Agnes Mary Clerke

Agnes Mary Clerke was an astronomer and writer who was a native of Co Cork, Ireland. The author of several books and reviews, she played a major role in bringing astronomy and astrophysics to the public during the Victorian era. The Clerke Crater on the moon is named in her honour. The crater is located near the landing site of the Apollo 17 Lunar mission.

Agnes Mary Clerke was born in Skibbereen, Co Cork on February 10th 1842. She was educated at home by her parents. Her father, who had taken courses in astronomy, owned a 4” telescope. From a young age Agnes regularly observed Saturn’s rings and Jupiter’s moons using her father’s telescope.

Having studied advanced mathematics, physics and astronomy, Agnes moved to Florence, Italy. She lived there for ten years studying science and languages before moving to live in London in 1877. She published her best known book ‘A Popular History of Astronomy during the Nineteenth Century’. She wrote several other books and contributed articles to Encyclopaedia Britannica and the Catholic Encyclopaedia.

Agnes Mary Clerke, astronomer and writer who was a native of Co Cork, Ireland, died aged 64 in the year 1907 On This Day.


Agnes Mary Clerke

Agnes Mary Clerke, 19th century astronomer, born in Skibbereen, County Cork.

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