Can our technology withstand a major solar storm?
The astronomer who saw the extraordinary solar flare of 1859
Richard Christopher Carrington was born May 26, 1826 in Chelsea, England. His father was a wealthy brewery owner in Brentford. He married Esther Clark Aplin in 1823. Richard Carrington had the opportunity to receive a private education at Hedley school. His father had already planned that his son would exercise a religious profession. For this, he made sure that Richard spent some time at the residence of a certain Blogard who was a clergyman. Subsequently, Richard Carrington continued his education at Trinity College of Cambridge. He graduated in 1848. Until then, the life of Carrington was rather that of his father's will. It was during a lecture on astronomy by Professor James Challis that Carrington decided to pursue his true passion. With the consent of his father, he began his career as an observer in astronomy at the University of Durham. In March 1852, Richard Carrington resigned from the University of Durham. He then decided to buy his own equipments and build an observatory. He found a suitable site to establish his observatory near Redhill Reigate and Banstead Borough, Surrey, England. Demonstrating a passion for astronomy, he observed the sun during the day and mapped the stars at night.
In 1858, the death of his father forced him to take control of the brewery. Despite all the efforts and the tremendous work that Richard Carrington made in astronomy, he was not chosen as director of the Cambridge observatory. The disappointment of not being able to realize his dream and the workload imposed upon him by the brewery forced him to close the observatory at Redhill. In 1865, health problems led him to sell the brewery. Subsequently, he moved to Churt, Surrey, where he erected a new observatory but never use it seriously. In 1875 his wife passed away. A few days later, Richard Christopher Carrington died of a cerebral hemorrhage.