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Biographical entry Ross, David (1850 - 1930)

26 February 1850
Ardgay, Scotland
30 May 1930
Yarra Glen, Victoria, Australia
Astronomer and Bank employee


David Ross was the leading amateur astronomer in Victoria for over 20 years from the mid-1880s. He was one of very few Australian astronomers who used telescopes that he had made for serious observational work. His first telescope was made in the mid-1890s, followed by two others each larger that its predecessor. Ross's principal observations were on comets and he is credited with discovering two. For the latter discovery in 1906 he was awarded the Donohoe Medal by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. However he lacked the necessary accessories and mathematical abilities to make significant contributions to astrometry. Ross was a pioneer in the use of astrophotography. He served as Vice-President of the short-lived Victorian Branch of the British Astronomical Society.



Life event - Migrated to Australia
1886 - 1915
Career position - Clerk, National Bank of Australasia
1902 - 1906
Career position - Vice-President, Victorian Branch. British Astronomical Society
Life event - Retired

Published resources

Journal Articles

  • Orchiston, Wayne, 'Comets and Communication: Amateur-Professional Tension in Australian Astronomy', Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, 16 (1999), 212-221. Details
  • Orchiston, Wayne and Brewer, Adrian, 'David Ross and the Development of Amateur Astronomy in Victoria', Journal of the British Astronomical Association, 100 (1990), 173-181. Details

Helen Cohn