Walter Frederick Gale (27 November 1865 – 1 June 1945) was an Australian banker. Gale was born in Paddington, Sydney, New South Wales. He had a strong interest in astronomy and built his first telescope in 1884.[1]

He discovered a number of comets, including the lost periodic comet 34D/Gale. He also discovered five southern double stars with the prefix GLE, and several dark sky objects, including the planetary nebula, IC 5148 in Grus. In 1892, he described oases and canals on Mars. He was awarded the Jackson-Gwilt Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1935 for "discoveries of comets and his work for astronomy in New South Wales."

A crater on Mars, Gale Crater, was named in his honour. It was selected as the 2012 landing site for the Curiosity Rover.[2]


  1. ^ Biography - Walter Frederick Gale - Australian Dictionary of Biography
  2. ^ The Associated Press (26 November 2011). "NASA Launches Sophisticated Rover on Journey to Mars". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 November 2011.

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