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Paige Knapke

on 8 January 2014

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Transcript of Astronomers

Early Astronomers
Aristarchus (310-230 B.C.) Greek
- First to say that the sun was the center of the universe, not the Earth. Theory considered too radical
- Attempted to measure the distance from the Earth to the Sun and the Earth to the Moon. Not very accurate, considering he didn’t have precise technological equipment

20th and 21st Century Astronomers
Ejnar Hertzsprung (1873 – 1967) Danish
- Studied stellar proper motions and motions of binary stars
- Using photography he studied stellar brightness, compared stellar color ratios,
- Plotted color-magnitude diagram for the Hyades cluster, which evolved to the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram

Women Astronomers
Famous group of Harvard astronomers called 'Pickering Women or The Harvard Computers. The director of the Harvard College Observatory, Edward Pickering, hired a number of women to sort through and organize mounds of data on the stellar classification of stars. Started in 1877 and open the doors of astronomy for women.
Works Cited









Astronomy is considered the oldest science, Since the beginning of time people have been fascinated by the sky, space, and what is beyond our planet. An Astronomer is a scientist who studies celestial objects, space, and the physical universe as a whole. They work to uncover the mysteries of the universe. There have been many great astronomers who have made discoveries that impacted our view of the universe and what we know about it- here are just a few!

Hipparchus (190 - 120 BC)
- Considered the greatest ancient astronomer
- Founder of systematic observational astronomy
- Discovered the precession of the equinoxes
- Wobble of the Earth’s axis
- Measured the distance to the moon, very close
- Completed a catalog of 850 stars
- Scale to define brightness of stars, still used today

Nicholas Copernicus (1473 – 1543) Polish
- Proposed that the earth orbited the sun, contradicting popular belief that the earth was the center of the solar system and the Sun revolved around us (Ptolemaic)
- ^groundwork for Galileo and Kepler
- Theory altered later workers' view of the universe, but was rejected by the Catholic Church.
- Re-explained retrograde motion

Claudius Ptolemy (2nd century AD)
- Created geocentric model of the universe. Included deferents and was followed for 15 centuries. (Ptolemaic system)
Aristotle (384 B.C- 322 B.C.)
- First to say that the Earth was round
- Primarily a philosopher and teacher, but
also studied science.

Eratosthenes (276 B.C.-194 B.C.) Greek
- Calculated the earth’s circumference
- Measured the degree of the tilt of the Earth's
- Mathematician and writer
- Became blind
Williamina Fleming (1857-1911)
- Originally Pickering’s housekeeper, he offered her a job at the observatory in 1879
- Curator of Astronomical Photographs- first women to receive such appointment
- Created a system of classifying stars, discovered many celestial objects; 79 stars, 10 novas, 59 gaseous nebulas, 94 Wolf-Rayet stars, 222 long-period variables

Antonia Maury (1866-1952)
- Hired by Pickering in 1888
- Worked on the Henry Draper Catalog with her aunt Anna Draper and Annie Jump Cannon
- She rearranged Fleming’s scheme to reflect the temperatures of stars. She further refined the sequence by adding another “dimension” to describe the spectral lines ( a, b, c, ac, )

Annie Jump Cannon (1863- 1941)
- Took Flemings position
- Classified 350,000 stars into the scheme we use today (O B A F G K M- Harvard Spectral Classification-version of Maury’s classification system refined)
- She received six honorary degrees, one from Oxford University, the first given to a woman, and was the first woman to receive the Draper Gold Medal
- Established an award to recognize contributions to astronomy by women
- She was deaf
Henrietta Swan Levitt (1868-1921)
- Hired as a member of 'Pickering's Women' in 1902
- She discovered that a particular type of variable star known as a Cepheid could be used as a distance marker, making it possible to determine the absolute luminosity of stars and the astronomical distances to objects.
- Ejnar Hertzsprung used her discovery to plot the distance of stars; Harlow Shapley used it to measure the size of the Milky Way; and Edwin Hubble used her work to estimate the age of the Universe.
- Classified 1200 variable stars

Caroyln Shoemaker (1929- )
- Discovered 32 comets (more than anyone else)

Jill Tarter (1944- )
- Director of the Center for Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI)
- Radio astronomy is used in their search for "extraterrestrial technologies". Finding such signals may indicate intelligent life other than that found on Earth.
- Real life Ellie Arroway from “Contact” (Book by Carl Sagan, 1997 Movie)

Henry Russell (1877-1957) American
- Used photographic methods to measure stellar parallaxes, leading to the discovery of the relationship between absolute magnitude and spectral types of stars
- A plot of this relationship is now called a Hertzsprung-Russell diagram (or H-R diagram)

Edwin Hubble (1889 – 1953) American
- Classification of galaxies (Hubble’s Tuning Fork)
- Used Cepheid variables to calculate the distances of M31 and M33
- Showed that galaxy distribution was cosmologically uniform
- Showed galaxies were moving away from us at speeds proportional to their distance, the universe is expanding (Hubble’s Law)
- Hubble telescope named after him

Harlow Shapley (1885-1972) American
- Discovered the size of our galaxy and the direction of its center by studying the distribution of globular clusters

Karl Jansky (1905-1950, American)
- Discovered that radio waves are emanating from space, which led to the science of radio astronomy

Clyde Tombaugh (1906-1997) American
- Discovered the planet Pluto in 1930
- Discovered several clusters of stars and galaxies
- Made observations of the surfaces of Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, and the Moon
- Started with no official training in astronomy. He built his own telescopes and observed Jupiter and Mars. Sent this work to Lowell Observatory for advice and received a job offer. Later attended the University of Kansas and got his M.A in astronomy.

Gerard Kuiper (1905 – 1973) Dutch-born American
- First planetary scientist
- Spectroscopically detected CH4 (Methane) on Titan and CO2 on Mars,
- Identified the comet-like debris of Kuiper’s Belt at the edge of the solar system.

James Van Allen (1914-2006 , American)
- Discovered the magnetosphere of the Earth. The belts of radiation surrounding the planet are called the Van Allen belts, and moderate the amount of solar radiation hitting Earth.

Carl Sagan (1934-1996, American)
- Called 'the astronomer of the people'.
- He popularized the science of astronomy with the general public, and revolutionized science fiction by believing that we are not alone in the universe.
- He championed the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, which continues today with a number of missions to Mars to search for signs of life on that planet and other outer planets

Allan R. Sandage (1926- ) American
- Discovered the first quasar
- Determined the age of globular clusters

Stephen Hawking (1942-, British)
- Brilliant mind of the twentieth century
- Theoretical physicists
- He combined the theory of general relativity and quantum theory in order to prove that black holes emit radiation and eventually evaporate.
- Despite being completely immobile as a result of Lou Gehrig's disease, he has written numerous books to bring astronomy, physics, math, and cosmology to the general public.
- Lucasian Professor 1980, LMS Naylor Prize 1999, Copley Medal 2006
- Born exactly 300 years after Galileo died and took Newton’s position at Cambridge
Tyco Brahe (1546 – 1601) Danish
- Plotted motion of comet in 1577
- Plotted motion of planets
- Assistant was Johannes Kepler

Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) Italian
- Father of Astronomy
- Studied sun’s rotation and sun spots
- Jupiter’s moons
- Phases of Venus
- Stars in the milky way
- Supported Copernican theory of planetary motion with his observations
- Heliocentric system

Johannes Kepler (1571 – 1630) German
- Kepler’s laws of planetary motion
- Inverse square law
- Optical image formation

Johannes Hevelius (1611 – 1687) Polish
- An accomplished instrument maker
- Introduced the Vernier scale for accuracy,
- Developed a catalog of star positions and an atlas of the moon,
- Discovered four comets and was the first to observe a transit of Mercury.

Giovanni Cassini (1625 – 1712) Italian born- French
- Measured Mars and Jupiter rotation periods,
- First scientific records of zodiacal light
- Satellites of Saturn
- Discovered the Cassini division (gap in Saturn’s rings)
- Investigated atmospheric refraction.

Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727) English
- Developed laws of gravity and mechanics
- Invented differential calculus

Edmond Halley (1656 – 1742) British
- Discovered Omega Centauri
- Using Newton’s gravitational law to predicted the comet of 1682 would return in 76 years (Halley’s comet)
- Invented idea of using transits of Mercury and Venus to determine distance to the sun

William Herschel (1738 – 1822) British
- Discovered Uranus
- Discovered binary star systems: two stars that orbit around each other
- State of the art telescopes
- Infrared radiation
- Attempted to map the Milky Way’s shape
- Assisted by sister Caroline Hershel (first women to discover a comet)

George Hale (1868 – 1938)
- The first astrophysicist
- Invented the spectroheliograph allowing photography of solar prominences in daylight
- Discovered magnetic fields in sunspots
- Planned and completed the 200-inch Mt. Palomar telescope.
- Founded the Yerkes, Mt. Wilson, and Palomar Observatories

Karl Schwarzchild (1873-1916) German
- First to give an exact solution of Einstein's equations of general relativity; one in static isotropic empty space surrounding a massive body (such as a black hole) and one inside a spherically symmetric body of constant density. Completed this while in military service on the Russian front.
- Developed the use of photography for measuring variable stars
- Made the first study of black holes

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) German/American physicist
- Theory of Relativity
- Awarded Nobel Peace Prize in Physics 1921

Vera Rubin (1928- )
- Measured rotation curves for distant galaxies and ultimately concluded that 90% or more of the universe is made of invisible dark matter.
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