Abbot, Charles Greeley
BornWilton, New Hampshire, USA, 31 May 1872
DiedWashington, District of Columbia, USA, 17 December 1973
Charles Abbot refined the value of the solar constant and significantly improved the technology of its measurement, but failed in his long-term effort to correlate small variations in the solar constant with terrestrial weather patterns. Abbot provided critically needed encouragement and financial support from both institutional and private sources to Robert H. Goddard’s early research and development of liquid-fueled rocket technology.
The son of Harris and Carol Ann (née Greeley) Abbot, Charles studied chemistry and physics at Phillips Andover Academy, Massachusetts, and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, receiving an M.S. degree in 1895 for a thesis on osmotic pressure.
Although he knew nothing about astronomy at the time, Abbot was employed following his graduation by Samuel Langley, director of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory [SAO] and secretary of the...
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