In ancient times, observation of the sun, moon, stars, and planets formed the basis of timekeeping and navigation. Astronomy was greatly furthered by the invention of the optical telescope, but modern observations are made in all parts of the spectrum, including X-ray and radio frequencies, using terrestrial and orbiting instruments and space probes
- He held university chairs in astronomy, physics and mathematics as well as working as an architect.
- He made a number of contributions to mathematics, physics and astronomy.
- Analysis was driven by the requirements of mathematical physics and astronomy.