(IAAC) Edwin Hubble, Ph.D. : the @stro object for the week of 04/10/2000

@stro object of the week
drafted by the @stro pages
the week of 04/10/2000
highlighted this week: Edwin Hubble, Ph.D.
Dr. Edwin Hubble (1889-1953) is probably one of the most famous
observational astronomers of the 20th century. He is credited with many
amazing discoveries and his findings revolutionized celestial theories.
His research continues to form the basis of current astronomical research.
Dr. Hubble was born in Marshfield, Missouri, to Virginia Lee James from
Virginia City, Nevada, and John Powell Hubble from Missouri. He received his
BS from the University of Chicago in 1910 and was awarded a Rhodes
scholarship to Oxford University in the same year where he went on to earn
an MA. In 1913 he passed the bar and practiced law until he gave it up for
astronomy. In 1914 he returned to the Yerkes Observatory at the University
of Chicago to work on his doctoral work in astronomy. In 1917 he received
his Ph.D. in astronomy.
He was invited to join the Mt. Wilson observatory staff in Pasadena,
California, but the day after he finished his doctoral thesis and took the
oral examination he enlisted with the US Army to take part in World War I.
He was commissioned a captain and later attained the rank of major. He was
discharged from the Army in 1919 and immediately moved to Mt. Wilson to
accept the position he'd been offered before the war.
His research was accomplished using the power of the then-largest 100"
Hooker Telescope at the Mt. Wilson observatory. He is credited with the
discovery of "redshift", a measurement of the increase in the wavelength of
light as it travels through space often due to the Doppler effect. This
revolutionary discovery led to the research into the distances of celestial
objects. This research further led to the discovery of the expansion of the
universe and contributed to the theory of the Big Bang. In addition to the
discovery of redshift and work on celestial distances he is credited with
proving that other galaxies exist instead of being "nebulae" in our own
galaxy as was previously thought, and that they are moving apart from each
Dr. Hubble eventually became convinced that the 100" Hooker telescope was
too limiting and made a push for making a telescope with a larger aperture.
He was a member of the Mt. Wilson advisory committee for the construction of
the 200" Hale telescope at Palomar Observatory, advised during its
construction and was the first person to observe with it.
Dr. Hubble died of a stroke on September 28, 1953 and his memory has been
honored with the naming of the Hubble Space Telescope.
The following links were instrumental in finding information about Dr.
biographical information about Edwin Hubble...
more on Edwin Hubble...
Mt. Wilson photo of Dr. Hubble...
photo used with this article...
Clear skies,
Roger Herzler
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