Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement/Gore, John Ellard

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GORE, JOHN ELLARD (1845–1910), astronomical writer, born at Athlone in Ireland on 1 June 1845, was son of John Ribton Gore, archdeacon of Achonry. After being educated privately he entered Trinity College, Dublin, where he obtained his engineering diploma with high distinction in 1865. Three years later, passing second in the open competition, he joined the Indian government works department and worked as assistant engineer on the construction of the Sirhind canal in the Punjab. There he began his observation of the stars, which had for first result the publication in 1877 of a small book entitled 'Southern Objects for Small Telescopes.' Gore retired from the Indian service in 1879 with a pension. Thenceforth he lived first at Ballisodare, co. Sligo, with his father until the latter's death, and afterwards in Dublin. He devoted himself to observations of the stars, principally with a binocular, for he never had a large telescope, and to writing on astronomy. Variable stars were chiefly the subject of his observations. In 1884 he presented to the Royal Irish Academy a 'Catalogue of Known Variable Stars' (enlarged and revised edit. 1888). A similar compilation by him, giving a list of the then computed orbits of binary stars, was published by the Irish Academy in 1890. At the same time Gore wrote much on astronomy for general reading. In some of his popular books he discussed with much judgment the theories of structure of the universe. 'Planetary and Stellar Studies' appeared in 1888; 'The Scenery of the Heavens' in 1890 {2nd edit. 1893); 'Astronomical Lessons' in 1890; 'Star Groups' in 1891; 'An Astronomical Glossary' in 1893; 'The Visible Universe' in 1893; 'The Worlds of Space' in 1894; and 'The Stellar Heavens' in 1903. In Studies in Astronomy' (1904) and in 'Astronomical Essays' (1907) he collected articles and essays that had appeared in magazines. His latest work, 'Astronomical Facts and Fallacies,' came out in 1909. Gore published many papers in the monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society on 8 March 1878, was a member of council of the Royal Dublin Society, and a member of the Royal Irish Academy. He was at one time a leading member of the Liverpool Astronomical Society, and was chosen a vice-president of the British Astronomical Association on its foundation, and director of the variable star section. He died unmarried in Dublin from the effects of a street accident on 18 July 1910.

[Who's Who, 1910; Monthly Notices, Roy. Astr. Soc, Feb. 1911.]

H. P. H.