The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Tebbutt, John

1453633The Dictionary of Australasian Biography — Tebbutt, JohnPhilip Mennell

Tebbutt, John, F.R.A.S., the well-known astronomer of New South Wales, is the grandson of the late John Tebbutt, who emigrated to that colony in 1801. He was born at Windsor, N.S.W., on May 25th, 1834. Having turned his attention to astronomy and made a thorough study of mathematics, he made minute observations of the Donati comet in 1858, and of the comet of 1860. He also minutely diagnosed the grand comet of the next year, and his predictions of the near approach of its tail to the earth produced much excitement. His views, though questioned by local amateurs, were subsequently confirmed by astronomical experts in the colonies and Europe. On the retirement of the Rev. W. Scott, the New South Wales Government Astronomer, in 1862, he was offered the post, but declined it. He received the silver medal of the Paris Exhibition for his paper on the "Progress and Present State of Astronomy in New South Wales," and in 1873 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. Mr. Tebbutt is the author of "Sixteen Years' Meteorological Observations."