The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2007 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, F. Jamil Ragep, JoAnn Palmeri, Marvin Bolt

Barnard, Edward Emerson

  • William Sheehan
Reference work entry

BornNashville, Tennessee, USA, 16 December 1857

DiedWilliams Bay, Wisconsin, USA, 7 February 1923

As both a visual and a photographic observer who made a multitude of discoveries that of extended interstellar absorption regions, or dark nebulae, being perhaps the most important, Edward Barnard became one of the greatest astronomers of his time, but his beginnings were extremely humble. He was born into impoverished circumstances just before the American Civil War. After his father, Reuben Barnard, died 3 months before Edward was born, his mother, Elizabeth Jane (neé Haywood) Barnard, who was already 42, raised him and his elder brother Charles (who seems to have been feeble‐minded) by herself. Elizabeth's broad literary interests are attested by the unusual middle name she chose for her second son, that of American writer and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson. She taught Edward to read, mainly from the Bible; otherwise Barnard had only 2 months of formal schooling.

At the tender age...

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Selected References

  1. Barnard, Edward Emerson (1907). “On a Nebulous Groundwork in the Constellation Taurus.” Astrophysical Journal 25: 218–225.ADSGoogle Scholar
  2. ——— (1913). “Photographs of the Milky Way and of Comets.” Publications of the Lick Observatory 11.Google Scholar
  3. ——— (1919). “On the Dark Markings of the Sky with a Catalogue of 182 Such Objects.”  Astrophysical Journal 49: 1–23.ADSGoogle Scholar
  4. ——— (1927). A Photographic Atlas of Selected Regions of the Milky Way, edited by Edwin B. Frost and Mary R. Calvert. 2 Vols. Washington, DC: Carnegie Institution of Washington.Google Scholar
  5. Frost, Edwin Brant (1926).”Edward Emerson Barnard.” Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences 21, no. 14: 1–23. (Vol. 11 of Biographical Memoirs, National Academy of Sciences.)Google Scholar
  6. Sheehan, William (1995). The Immortal Fire Within: the Life and Work of Edward Emerson Barnard. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Sheehan

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