The Growth of American Astronomy



Astronomer George Ellery Hale was born in Chicago on June 29, 1868. Though he originally intended to join his family’s elevator business, his basic instincts soon turned him to science.


Magellanic Cloud Naval Observatory White Dwarf Star Steady State Theory Andromeda Galaxy 
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  1. 1.
    See, for example, David H. DeVorkin, “Steps toward the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram,” Physics Today, March 1978.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    J. C. Kapteyn to George Ellery Hale, personal letter, February 7,1919, from the A. Lawrence Lowell Papers, UAI 5.160 (1919–22) #14 Observatory.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hale to Lowell, March 29,1920, from the A. Lawrence Lowell Papers, UAI 5.160 (1919–22) #14 Observatory.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Owen Gingerich, “How Shapley Came to Harvard, Or, Snatching the Prize from the Jaws of Debate,” JHA, 1988, xix.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    W. H. Pickering credits a suggestion by Herschel as helping Pickering find Pluto on the very first page of Pickering’s article “The Transnep-tunian Planet” (Annals of the Harvard College Observatory, Vol. 82, No. 3). For a good general discussion of Herschel’s contributions to American astronomy, see Deborah Jean Warner, “Astronomy in Antebellum America,” in Nathan Reingold, editor, The Sciences in the American Context: New Perspectives (Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C., 1979).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    See Mitchell Wilson, American Science and Invention (Simon & Schuster, 1954), p. 275, for a discussion of Clark’s role in American astronomy; for an excellent discussion of astronomical technology in this era, see Carlene Stephens, “Partners in Time: William Bond & Son of Boston and the Harvard College Observatory,” essay accompanying exhibition held at Harvard University (from January 10 through June 9, 1989).Google Scholar

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© Anthony Serafini 1993

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