Airy, Sir George Biddell

Airy, Sir George Biddell (1801-1892), a British astronomer. Airy was astronomer royal from 1835 to 1881. He modernized the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, equipping it with instruments of his own design. An expert mathematician, he developed a rapid means of calculation that made possible the systematizing of all lunar and planetary data gathered at the observatory from 1750 to 1830. Conducting research in optics, Airy identified the visual disorder today known as astigmatism, and he developed eyeglass lenses able to correct it.

Airy graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1823. He taught mathematics and then astronomy there until 1835.