Dugan, Raymond Smith
BornMontague, Massachusetts, USA, 30 May 1878
DiedPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, 31 August 1940
American astronomer Raymond Dugan is best remembered for his accurate light curves of eclipsing binaries, in which one star passes in front of the other and blocks its light. He was also the first to recognize that the details of such light curves could be analyzed to reveal the heating of one star by the other and to show that distortion of spherical stars into ellipsoids by the gravity of their companions was common.
The son of Jeremiah Welby and Mary Evelyn Smith, a descendant of Miles Standish, Dugan completed his bachelor’s degree at Amherst College in 1889. The following 3 years were spent at the Syrian Protestant College (now American University) in Beirut, Lebanon, where Dugan was an instructor in astronomy and mathematics and acting director of the observatory. He returned to Amherst for a master’s degree in 1902 and immediately left to pursue his doctorate at Heidelberg, where he...