Family star will be remembered

Tom Davison , the first recipient of the Moses Holden Studentship Fund at UCLan's Alston Observatory with the Moses Holden Telescope.
Tom Davison , the first recipient of the Moses Holden Studentship Fund at UCLan's Alston Observatory with the Moses Holden Telescope.

A relative of the founder of what is now the University of Central Lancashire is making sure the memory of his distant grandfather lives on.

Patrick Holden has created and financed a special scholarship for astronomers as a tribute his great, great, great grandfather Moses Holden.

Moses, who lived from 1777 to 1864, was a famous astronomer.

He gave public lectures in astronomy and optics filling theatres in Preston, across the North and the Midlands throughout the 19th century.

Moses was also heavily involved in the creation of the Institution for the Diffusion of Knowledge, now UCLan, in 1828.

The first recipient is BSc (Hons) astrophysics graduate Tom Davison.

He graduated with a First in the summer and will now spend the next three-and-a-half years using this studentship to continue his studies to doctorate level.

The 21-year-old said: “ It’s fantastic and such a great honour to receive this studentship, especially because it’s named after such an important 
person.

“I will be using this studentship to research dwarf galaxies, observing and trying to make sense of some dwarf galaxies and getting new data.”

Tom’s research will use data from the NASA Hubble Space Telescope, which can see distant galaxies in the Universe.

He will also be teaching the undergraduate students at UCLan’s Alston Observatory using the Moses Holden telescope, the £200,000 highly specialised 0.7m diameter mirror Altitude-Azimuth reflecting telescope which the University dedicated in Moses’ name.