John Ellard Gore

John Ellard Gore (1845–1910) was an Irish amateur astronomer and prolific author, and a founding member of the British Astronomical Association. He was mainly interested in variable stars of which he discovered several, most notably W Cygni in 1884, U Orionis in 1885, and independently discovered Nova Persei.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] In 2009, the IAU named a lunar impact crater after Gore.[11]

John Ellard Gore
John Ellard Gore.png
John Ellard Gore
Born(1845-06-01)1 June 1845
Died18 July 1910(1910-07-18) (aged 65)
Alma materTrinity College, Dublin
Scientific career

Early lifeEdit

Gore was born in Athlone, County Westmeath, in 1845, the eldest son of the Venerable John Ribton Gore and Frances Brabazon Ellard. He had 3 brothers and one sister. The Gore family descended from Sir Paul Gore, 1st Baronet and John's great grandfather was Sir Arthur Gore, 1st Baronet. He studied at Trinity College and received a diploma in Civil Engineering in 1865.

Professional careerEdit

Gore worked as a railway engineer in Ireland for over two years before being appointed as an assistant engineer with the Indian Public Works Department on the Sirhind Canal project. In 1877 he returned to Ireland on two years leave of absence and lived in Ballysadare County Sligo with his father. In 1879, he retired after 11 years of service with a pension and after the death of his father in 1894, moved to Dublin where he spent the rest of his life devoted to astronomy.


Gore had no formal training in astronomy, and began to study the sky while working in India. While there, he relied on his naked eyes, binoculars, a three-inch telescope and a ten centimeter telescope on an equatorial mount.[1] His first book "Southern Stellar Objects for Small Telescopes" was published in India in 1877.

On his return to Ireland in 1877, he used a three-inch telescope and binoculars.[12] He set up an observatory in Sligo, and later set up at 3 Nortumberland Street, Dublin. His greatest contribution was his studies of double and variable stars, and he published catalogues of variables and binary stars.[13]

He died from a street accident, in Dublin on 18 July 1910.[8]


In 2009, the IAU named a lunar impact crater located on the lunar near side near the northern pole after Gore.[11]


  1. ^ a b Shears, Jeremy (2012). "John Ellard Gore: of immensity and minuteness". arXiv:1203.6467 [physics.hist-ph].
  2. ^ E. Briggs. "Obituary of John Ellard Gore (The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada)". Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  3. ^ FitzGerald, A. P. (1966). "John Ellard Gore (1845–1910)". Irish Astronomical Journal. 7 (7/8): 213–219. Bibcode:1966IrAJ....7..213F. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  4. ^ "John Ellard Gore". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. London. 71 (4): 256–257. 1911. Bibcode:1911MNRAS..71R.256.. doi:10.1093/mnras/71.4.256a. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  5. ^ Macpherson, Hector (1910). "John Ellard Gore". Popular Astronomy. 18 (9): 519–525. Bibcode:1910PA.....18..519M. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  6. ^ Hollis, Henry Park (1910). "John Ellard Gore". The Observatory. 311 (425): 316–318. Bibcode:1910Obs....33..311. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  7. ^ Lynn, W. T. (1910). "John Ellard Gore". Journal of the British Astronomical Association. London, Britain. 20 (9): 483–484. Bibcode:1910JBAA...20..483. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  8. ^ a b Hollis, Henry Park (1912). "Gore, John Ellard" . Dictionary of National Biography (2nd supplement). London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  9. ^ Hollis, Henry Park; Elliott, Ian (2004). "Gore, John Ellard". Gore, John Ellard (1845–1910), astronomical writer | Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/33473.
  10. ^ Elliott, Ian (2007). "Gore, John Ellard". In Hockey, Thomas; Trimble, Virginia; Williams, Thomas R. (eds.). Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers. New York: Springer Publishing. pp. 830–832. doi:10.1007/978-1-4419-9917-7_531. ISBN 978-1-4419-9917-7.
  11. ^ a b International Astronomical Union Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature, "Planetary Names: Crater, craters: Gore on Moon", Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature, retrieved 28 January 2016
  12. ^ Jay B. Holberg (5 July 2007). Sirius: Brightest Diamond in the Night Sky. Praxis Publishing Limited, Chichester, UK. pp. 92–. ISBN 978-0-387-48942-1.
  13. ^ Brück, M. T.; Conway-Piskorski, M. (1998), "A Medieval Irish Treatise on Astronomy Recalled", Irish Astronomical Journal, 25: 49, Bibcode:1998IrAJ...25...49B, retrieved 28 January 2016, see p. 50

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