Jason has been out painting the first character piece at the underpass today, George Alcock! Here’s how he progressed and more about George below:
George Alcock, Peterborough, Aug 28 1912 – Dec 15 2000. He remained in the Peterborough area throughout his life.
George was simply the greatest visual discoverer who ever lived under the cloudy British skies. His ten discoveries (five comets and five novae) surpass even the achievements of Caroline Herschel, who discovered eight comets from Britain and did not have to battle against the likes of Honda, Seki, Ikeya, Mrkos and Burnham, competing with George from much clearer skies. One of the later discoveries was made from the landing of his house whilst looking after his bedridden wife! His extraordinary success in this area implies that, locked in his brain, were thousands of star patterns, containing maybe more than 30,000 stars, as seen through his binoculars.
On the 1st of Jan 1953 George made his first and only New Year’s resolution; he would embark on a 5 year comet search. Two years later, in the summer of ’55, he decided he would search for novae too. In January 1959 George bought binoculars to replace his 4” refractor telescope for just £150. After only 7 months sweeping with the new binoculars, on the 25th of August 1959 George spotted an intruder in Corona Borealis. The next night, with a new star atlas, he checked the field again….the suspect had moved one degree. George had made his first discovery, Comet Alcock 1959e, the first comet discovered from Britain since Dennings final comet discovery in 1894.After more than 6 years of sweeping, the second Comet Alcock was discovered only 5 days later! Comet 1959f was discovered in the morning sky in Cancer. After a 65 year dearth of British comet discoveries (and not for the lack of people trying) the discovery of two British comets in a week was, and still is, a fairytale event. George went on to discover 3 more comets and 5 novae and received and MBE for his services in 1979.