Charles Augustus Young, an American astronomer, born in Hanover, N. H., Dec. 15, 1834. He graduated at Dartmouth college in 1853, from 1854 to 1856 taught the classics in Phillips Andover academy, and was professor of mathematics and natural philosophy in Western Reserve college, Hudson, Ohio, from 1856 to 1866. During these years his vacations were chiefly spent in astronomical work, determining latitudes and longitudes in the government surveys of the northern and northwestern lakes. In 1862 he was for a time a captain of Ohio volunteers. In 1865 he was appointed to the professorship of natural philosophy and astronomy in Dartmouth college, which had been held by his father, Ira Young, and by his grandfather, Ebenezer Adams. As a member of Prof. J. H. Coffin's party, he observed the total eclipse of the sun at Burlington, Iowa,- in August, 1869, and discovered the bright line in the spectrum of the corona, thus demonstrating it to be a solar and not a lunar or terrestrial phenomenon. In December, 1870, as a member of Prof. Winlock's party, sent out by the United States coast survey, he observed the total solar eclipse at Jerez, Spain, confirmed the results of his observations of 1869, and discovered the reversal of the dark lines of the solar spectrum, by a gaseous layer close to the sun's photosphere.
In July, 1872, he was sent by the government with a party of the coast survey, to determine the advantage of high altitudes for astronomical observations; in this expedition valuable results were obtained, especially in spectroscopy. From an elevation of nearly 8,300 ft. on the Rocky mountains he observed not fewer than 273 bright lines in the spectrum of the photosphere. In 1874 he accompanied Prof. J. C. Watson to Peking, China, as assistant astronomer to observe the transit of Venus. Prof. Young has published in the scientific journals numerous papers, chiefly on spectroscopy and solar physics. He is distinguished also as the only astronomer who has yet obtained a photographic record of a prominence when the sun has not been eclipsed, for his work in the classification of prominences, in the study of the connection between prominences, spots, and faculae, and generally for the skill with which he has applied spectroscopic analysis to solar phenomena.