Brief biography of Amateur Astronomer George Denton Hirst.
George Denton Hirst was a prominent amateur astronomer in New South Wales in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was an official observer in the Transit of Venus observations in 1874, operating the photoheliograph at the observing station at Woodford, New South Wales. He published a report on the observations in the Memoirs of the Royal Astronomical Society, vol. 47, 1881.
He was an accomplished astronomical draughtsman, publishing drawings of Mars and Jupiter that were considered the equal of the best drawings in Britain, and he also published observations of double stars in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. He was a member of the Royal Society of New South Wales and of the British Astronomical Association (serving as president of the New South Wales branch) and elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1895.
Hirst was a close friend of William John Macdonnell, who lived nearby in Mosman, and he used Macdonnell’s private observatory for his own observations.
Holland, Julian (2007). ‘Hirst, George Denton’, Biographical Encyclopaedia of Astronomers, ed Thomas Hockey. New York: Springer, p. 515.
Obituary (1916). Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 76: 261.