Avan Klark

Avan Klark

The founder of a dynasty of American opticians and grinders and a famous company manufacturing lenses and telescopes. When testing one of them, he discovered the satellite of Sirius.
Date of Birth: 08.03.1804
Country: USA

  1. Biography of Avan Clark
  2. Contributions in Astronomy

Biography of Avan Clark

Avan George Clark, born on March 8, 1804, was a renowned physicist specializing in optical phenomena and devices. He is also known as the founder of the Clark dynasty, a great American lineage of opticians. Avan Clark was born in the small town of Ashfield, Massachusetts, USA. From a young age, he had a passion for physics and made significant advancements in this field. His passion eventually led him to establish his own company, which manufactured telescopic refractor lenses. His son, George Bassett Clark, had a significant influence on his work. In 1944, George independently produced a 5-inch mirror, and he was mainly responsible for the calculations and experiments in their work. Avan Clark's efforts made it possible to easily correct chromatic and spherical aberrations in glass lenses, primarily working with diameters over 45 centimeters.

Contributions in Astronomy

Avan Clark dedicated many years to creating powerful telescopes that were intended to be used in the world's largest observatories. Together with his son Alvan Graham Clark, he created their first 18-inch telescope for the University of Chicago. In January 1962, thanks to their telescope, the satellite of Sirius was discovered.

In 1870, Avan Clark's sons worked on a 26-inch telescope intended for the observatory in Washington. In 1977, thanks to this groundbreaking invention, several satellites of Mars were discovered by the physicist Hall. In 1981, the University of Virginia acquired an identical instrument, and in the same year, a telescope was created for the Pulkovo Observatory in Russia. At that time, the purchase price was enormous, amounting to 300,000 rubles.

In 1886, Avan Clark began working on the production of a 36-inch telescope for the Lick Observatory located in California. In 1896, J. Schaeberle made a remarkable discovery thanks to this instrument, proving the existence of a satellite of Procyon. In August 1887, Avan George Clark passed away surrounded by his family. This was a tremendous loss for astronomy, as he had helped many great individuals make their discoveries, confirming numerous theories. The telescopes manufactured by Avan Clark were unparalleled and unique.

After his death, his son Alvan Graham Clark continued his father's legacy and created several exceptional telescopes.