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Astro*Dictionary by Michael Erlewine





1 article for "Goodricke, John"

Goodricke, John [Astro*Index]

(1764-1786) Dutch-English astronomer. Born at Groningen, Netherlands; died in York, England.

Born a deaf-mute, he studied the variations in the light from Algol, showing them to be regular in character. In 1782, at the age of 17, he suggested that the phenomonon was caused by an invisible companion star which eclipsed Algol, thus diminishing the light. This proved to be the correct explanation. Algol (Beta Persei) dims from magnitude 2 to 3 during a few hours each 2.87 days. Its name, in Arabic, means the Ghoul, and it marks the head of the demon Medusa. He died at age 21.



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