Sir Edward Sabine, British geophysicist, astronomer and explorer, c 1870s.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Carte de visite photograph by Maull & Co of Sir Edward Sabine (1788-1883). Sabine joined the Royal Artillery in 1803, retiring as a general in 1877. While stationed on the Niagara frontier in Canada he began his studies into natural history, which included ornithology, meteorology and terrestrial magnetism. In the 1820s he conducted pendulum experiments in the Southern Hemisphere to determine the shape of the Earth, and later discovered a relationship between sunspots and magnetic disturbances on Earth. He was astronomer on Ros's (1777-1856) Expedition to the North-West Pasage in 1818, and a member of the Arctic Council that advised the Admiralty on Polar exploration. He served as President of the Royal Society, 1861-1871, and was knighted in 1869.