The originator of Zulu Time, as verified by the BBC everyday
On this day in 1939, Sir Frank Watson Dyson, KBE, FRS, aged 71, died while traveling from Australia to England in 1939 and was buried at sea, as is proper for a man of such celestial voyages and his importance to how sailors keep time at sea and in far off lands.
An English astronomer and Astronomer Royal (and director of the Royal Greenwich Observatory) from 1910 to 1933, he introduced in the Observatory a new free-pendulum clock, the most accurate clock available at that time and organized the regular wireless transmission from the GPO wireless station at Rugby of Greenwich Mean Time. He is remembered today largely for introducing time signals (“six pips”) from Greenwich (via the BBC which continued at least into 2015), and for the role he played in testing Einstein’s theory of general relativity.
He was for several years President of the British Horological Institute and was awarded their Gold Medal in 1928. Knighted in 1915, he was the President of the Royal Astronomical Society during the Great War
The crater Dyson on the Moon is named after him, as is the Asteroid 1241 Dysona.