Concept

John A. Eddy

Summary
John Allen "Jack" Eddy (March 25, 1931 – June 10, 2009) was an American astronomer. He studied historical sunspot records, and popularised the name Maunder Minimum for the sunspot minimum which occurred in the late 17th century. John Eddy was born and raised in Pawnee City, Nebraska. His brother Robert was two years his senior and his sister Lucille was two years his younger. His father managed a cooperative farm store where John worked until he started high school. John's mother had attained college for one year and was a county schoolteacher until she married his father. The Eddy family were of limited economic means and were concerned that they could not afford a college education for John. As it turned out, he was the only member of the family to graduate from college. In 1948, he attended Doane College in Crete, Nebraska for one year, a distance of some from his home. In 1949 he was appointed by Senator Kenneth Wherry of Nebraska, who also resided in Pawnee City, to the U.S. Naval Academy. At Annapolis, there were few science courses but Eddy attended a course in celestial navigation, which gave him a love of the sky. So great was his interest in the night sky that once after Taps, he crawled out on the roof of Bancroft Hall to look for the Constellation Draco and was caught by an officer who gave him five hours of extra duty for not being in bed. Upon graduation in 1953 from the United States Naval Academy, Eddy served for four years at sea as a line officer on aircraft carriers during the Korean War and later in the Persian Gulf as navigator and operations officer on a destroyer in the Atlantic Fleet. In 1957 he left active service in the Navy to continue his education. He was discharged and accepted into the graduate school at the University of Colorado's mathematics program, but switched departments before the start of the Fall 1957 semester, upon discovering the University's observatory and a program in astro-geophysics that had just been started, becoming the program's first student.
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