John Flamsteed, English astronomer, 1712.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by George Vertue after an original painting by T Gibson of John Flamsteed (1646-1719), the first Astronomer Royal. King Charles II commisioned Flamsteed to draw up accurate lunar and stellar tables which were needed in order to determine longitude at sea. The Royal Observatory at Greenwich was created in order that Flamsteed could complete his work which was not published until six years after his death. The tables contained the positions of nearly 3,000 stars. He is depicted here at the age of 74.