Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, JoAnn Palmeri, Daniel W. E. Green

Sharpless, Stewart Lane

  • Steven J. DickEmail author
Reference work entry

BornMilwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, 29 March, 1926

Stewart Sharpless is an American astronomer best known for his work on the hot, ionized, hydrogen clouds called H II regions. Together with  William Morgan and Donald Osterbrock, Sharpless used the distribution of H II regions to map the spiral structure of the Milky Way galaxy, preceding the radio mapping of the spiral arms by more than a year. He also made three-color photometric observations of the Orion association and analyzed the evolutionary differences among its stars. He was an active member of the International Astronomical Union.

Sharpless was the son of Stewart Lane Sharpless and Edith (Schiel) Sharpless. His interest in astronomy was piqued in the summer of 1939 when he observed Mars during its close opposition, with a telescope purchased by his father. His interest continued through high school, and in the early 1940s, he bought copies of the American Ephemeris and Nautical Almanac and Nortons Star Atlas. He attended Antioch...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Selected References

  1. Dick, Steven J. (2001). Sky and Ocean Joined: The U.S. Naval Observatory, 1830–2000 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).Google Scholar
  2. Morgan, W. W., S. Sharpless, and D. Osterbrock, “Some Features of Galactic Structure in the Neighbourhood of the Sun,” AJ, 57, 3 (1952).Google Scholar
  3. Sharpless, S. “A Study of the Orion Aggregate of Early-Type Stars,” ApJ, 116 (1952), pp. 251–272, and Part II, ApJ, 119 (1954), pp. 200–205.Google Scholar
  4. Sharpless, S. “A Catalogue of Emission Nebulae Near the Galactic Plane,” ApJ, 118 (1953), pp. 362-Google Scholar
  5. Sharpless, S. “A Catalogue of H II Regions,” Astrophysical Journal Supplement, vol. 4 (1959), pp. 257–279.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NASA/Library of CongressWashingtonUSA