Reference Work Entry

Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

pp 1974-1974


Seeger, Charles L., III

  • Richard A. JarrellAffiliated withYork University

BornBerkeley, California, USA, 10 October 1912

DiedPalo Alto, California, USA, 26 August 2002

Charles Seeger was a pioneer radio astronomer who launched the Cornell University program, worked with Jan Oort in Leiden, and was a pioneer in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project.

The son of University of California musicologist Charles Seeger, Jr., and Constance Edson, Charles III, was born into a musical family – folk singer Pete Seeger was a brother – but showed early interest in radio and was a serious amateur radio operator. He studied electrical engineering at Cornell, taking a BS in 1946, and joined the School of Electrical Engineering as an assistant professor. There, he collaborated with Ralph Williamson and Donald MacRae to develop radio astronomy. Solar monitoring began in 1948 with an ex-army radar set and a Dicke radiometer operating at 205 MHz. Observations along the galactic plane were made at the same frequency. Seeger also was interested in scintillations ...

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