Sir Joseph Norman Lockyer (1836-1920)


English astronomer, was born in Rugby, in May 17th 1836, and died in Sidmouth, in August 16th 1920.

Lockyer was professor at the Royal College of Science and, later, director of the Solar Physics Observatory, in South Kensington. Interested in solar spectroscopy discovered, together with P. J. Janssen, the prominences (red flames) that surround the solar disk. Lockyer discovered the element helium in the Sun before it had been detected on Earth. He was also interested in the classification of stellar spectra and developed the meteoric hypothesis of stellar evolution.

His works include the books Contributions to Solar Physics (1873), The Sun's Place in Nature (1897) and Inorganic Evolution (1900).