William Tyler Olcott

William Tyler Olcott

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William Tyler Olcott was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 lawyer
Lawyer
A lawyer, according to Black's Law Dictionary, is "a person learned in the law; as an attorney, counsel or solicitor; a person who is practicing law." Law is the system of rules of conduct established by the sovereign government of a society to correct wrongs, maintain the stability of political...

 and amateur astronomer
Astronomer
An astronomer is a scientist who studies celestial bodies such as planets, stars and galaxies.Historically, astronomy was more concerned with the classification and description of phenomena in the sky, while astrophysics attempted to explain these phenomena and the differences between them using...

.

In 1909, after attending a lecture by Edward Charles Pickering
Edward Charles Pickering
Edward Charles Pickering was an American astronomer and physicist, brother of William Henry Pickering.Along with Carl Vogel, Pickering discovered the first spectroscopic binary stars. He wrote Elements of Physical Manipulations .Pickering attended Boston Latin School, and received his B.S. from...

, he developed an interest in observing variable star
Variable star
A star is classified as variable if its apparent magnitude as seen from Earth changes over time, whether the changes are due to variations in the star's actual luminosity, or to variations in the amount of the star's light that is blocked from reaching Earth...

s. In 1911, he and professor Pickering
founded the American Association of Variable Star Observers
American Association of Variable Star Observers
Since its founding in 1911, the American Association of Variable Star Observers has coordinated, collected, evaluated, analyzed, published, and archived variable star observations made largely by amateur astronomers and makes the records available to professional astronomers, researchers, and...

 (AAVSO). W. Olcott also published several books to popularize the field of amateur astronomy.

Awards and honors

  • The William Tyler Olcott Award of the AAVSO is named for him.
  • The crater Olcott
    Olcott (crater)
    Olcott is a relatively fresh crater on the far side of the Moon. It lies to the south-southeast of the craters Seyfert and Polzunov, and to the north of Kostinskiy....

     on the Moon
    Moon
    The Moon is Earth's only known natural satellite,There are a number of near-Earth asteroids including 3753 Cruithne that are co-orbital with Earth: their orbits bring them close to Earth for periods of time but then alter in the long term . These are quasi-satellites and not true moons. For more...

     is named after him.

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