Christopher Spratt

A horticulturist and active asteroid, comet and variable star observer. Chilton Prize 1983, Chant Medal 1988.

CHRISTOPHER E. SPRATT (1942-) joined the Niagara Falls Centre in 1961 where he began making variable star estimates for AAVSO with a 6 cm refractor. Following his graduation from the Niagara Parks School of Horticulture, his work took him to many parts of Canada. He was at various times an unattached member, and belonged to Centres in Ottawa, London and Victoria where he is currently employed as a gardener by the University.

Wherever he went, Spratt continued his variable star work He was the top observer for AAVSO in 1976-77 and by 1982 he had reported over 30 000 observations to that organization. In recognition of this remarkable accomplishment and his highly-regarded computational work with comet ephemerides, the Society awarded Chris Spratt the Chilton Prize in 1983. The same year the International Halley Watch named him the Co-ordinator of Visual Observations for Northwestern North America. He continued to amass observations of variable stars but found comets and asteroids increasingly fascinating.

His observations of these solar system objects have appeared frequently in IAU Circulars, The International Comet Quarterly and Sky and Telescope and his numerous papers on asteroids, comets and meteorites have formed a major contribution to the Journal. He has written many popular articles for Centre and national newsletter local newspapers and Astronomy magazine. He has a large personal meteorite collection. Chris Spratt was honoured with the Chant Medal in 1988. Furthermore, at his suggestion, a number of asteroids were named after prominent Canadian astronomers and the tribute was reciprocated when asteroid "Sprattia" was "Christened" in 1991.

Peter Broughton (from Looking Up)

Spratt, Christopher