September 16, 1846–December 31, 1913
BY W. E. CARTER AND M. S. CARTER
SETH CARLO CHANDLER, JR., IS best remembered for his research on the variation of latitude (i.e., the complex wobble of the Earth on its axis of rotation, now referred to as polar motion). His studies of the subject spanned nearly three decades. He published more than twenty-five technical papers characterizing the many facets of the phenomenon, including the two component 14-month (now referred to as the Chandler motion) and annual model most generally accepted today, multiple frequency models, variation of the frequency of the 14-month component, ellipticity of the annual component, and secular motion of the pole. His interests were much wider than this single subject, however, and he made substantial contributions to such diverse areas of astronomy as cataloging and monitoring variable stars, the independent discovery of the nova T Coronae, improving the estimate of the constant of aberration, and computing the orbital parameters of minor planets and comets. His publications totaled more than 200.
Chandler's achievements were well recognized by his contemporaries, as documented by the many prestigious awards he received: honorary doctor of law degree, DePauw University; recipient of the Gold Medal and foreign associate of the Royal Astronomical Society of London; life member