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Sir Edward Sabine

(1788-1883), Army officer and physicist; President of the Royal Society

Sitter in 7 portraits
Served in the Royal Artillery and appointed astronomer to the Arctic expeditions of Sir John Ross (1818) and Sir William Parry (1819) in search of the Northwest Passage. In 1821, he began experiments in Africa, North America and the Arctic to determine the Earth's shape more precisely by observing the motion of a pendulum. He published the first results in 1825 and then oversaw the establishment of magnetic observatories throughout the world. In 1852, he discovered that the variation of sunspots correlates with changes in magnetic disturbances on Earth and thus was able to show a relation between these two phenomena. Sabine was president of the Royal Society of London from 1861 until 1871.


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