Date: 03 Sep 2014
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Hey, (James) Stanley

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BornNelson, Lancashire, England, 3 May 1909

Diedprobably in Eastbourne, Sussex, 27 February 2000

English radar and radio astronomer Stanley Hey led the small groups that made three of the four first discoveries in radio astronomy – emission from the Sun, radar reflections from ionized trails of meteors (hence daytime meteor showers), and the first extragalactic discrete radio source, Cygnus A.

Hey studied physics at Manchester University, where he met and married a fellow student, Edna Heywood, and received a master’s degree in 1931 in X-ray crystallography. After a period of high-school teaching, the outbreak of World War II led him to take a 6-week course in radar and to join the Army Operations Research Group [AORG]. Here a superior officer once referred to him as James Hey, a misnomer which survives today in many reference works (including this one).

In early 1942, the AORG was focusing on ways to counteract the increasing ability of German stations on the northern French coast to “jam ...