Other Astronomers

Bessel was not the only astronomer working to measure the tiny shift in nearby stars as Earth circled the Sun. Two other astronomers succeeded within a few months, giving further credibility to the finding that the distance to the stars is so great that it takes years for their light to reach the Earth.

Thomas James Alan Henderson (28 December 1798 – 23 November 1844) was a Scottish astronomer noted for being the first person to measure the distance to Alpha Centauri, the major component of the nearest star system to Earth, and for being the first Astronomer Royal for Scotland. The distance from Earth to Alpha Centauri is approximately 4.4 light years.

Friedrich Georg Wilhelm von Struve (1793-1864), Director of Pulkovo Observatory in Russia, measured the parallax of Vega from 1835 to 1838. Vega is approximately 25 light years from Earth.