Henry Crozier Keating Plummer

Henry Crozier Keating Plummer FRS[1] FRAS (24 October 1875 – 30 September 1946) was an English astronomer.

Early years and education

Born in Oxford, Plummer was the son of William Edward Plummer (1849–1928)[2][3][4] and nephew of the distinguished astronomer John Isaac Plummer (1845-1925). He gained his education at St. Edward's School and then Hertford College. After studies in physics, he became a lecturer at Owen's College, Manchester, instructing in mathematics.


In 1900, he became an assistant at the Radcliffe Observatory, Oxford, where his father had served previously. He remained there for most of the next twelve years, spending one year at Lick Observatory as a Research Fellow. In 1912 he was appointed to the position of Andrews Professor of Astronomy at Trinity College, Dublin, which carried with it the title of Royal Astronomer of Ireland. He was the last holder of both positions.

He joined the Military College of Science at Woolwich in 1921, as professor of mathematics. He would remain at Woolwich until he retired in 1940, becoming President of the Royal Astronomical Society from 1939 until 1941.

During his career he contributed to the Astrographic Catalogue, and contributed scientific papers. His investigations included photometric observations of short-period variables, and the radial pulsations of cepheid variables. In 1911 he developed a gravitational potential function that can be used to model globular clusters and spherically-symmetric galaxies, known as the Plummer potential. In 1918 he published the work, An Introductory Treatise on Dynamical Astronomy. He also made studies of the history of science, and served on the Royal Society committee that was formed to publish the papers of Sir Isaac Newton.[5]

Awards and honors

  • Fellow of the Royal Society, 1920[1]
  • Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, 1899.
  • The crater Plummer on the Moon is named after him.


  1. ^ a b Greaves, W. M. H. (1948). "Henry Crozier Plummer. 1875-1946". Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society. 5 (16): 778–789. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1948.0012.
  2. ^ William E. Plummer, Influential Scientists, National Oceanography Centre Archived 26 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Plummer, William Edward". Who's Who. Vol. 59. 1907. p. 1407.
  4. ^ Rowlands, Peter (1990). "William Edward Plummer". Oliver Lodge and the Liverpool Physical Society. pp. 88–89.
  5. ^ Whitrow, G. C. (November 1961). "The Correspondence of Isaac Newton. Vol. I: 1661–1675 Vol II: 1676–1687. Edited by H. W. Turnbull". The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. 12 (47): 255–256. doi:10.1093/bjps/xii.47.255. JSTOR 685213.
  • W. M. Smart, (Plummer, Henry Crozier Keating) Obituary, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, vol. 107, February 1947, pp. 56–59.


External links

This page was last updated at 2019-11-12 19:16 UTC. Update now. View original page.

All our content comes from Wikipedia and under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.


If mathematical, chemical, physical and other formulas are not displayed correctly on this page, please useFirefox or Safari