Jansky, Karl Guthe
BornNorman, Oklahoma, USA, 22 October 1905
DiedRed Bank, New Jersey, USA, 14 February 1950
Karl Jansky discovered extraterrestrial radio signals and tentatively identified their origin as the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. His discovery eventually revolutionized astronomy; Jansky can properly be thought of as the founder of radio astronomy.
Jansky’s father, Cyril Methodius Jansky, was dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Oklahoma. Cyril Jansky had been born in Wisconsin of Czech immigrant parents who came to the United States in 1867. Karl’s mother, Nellie (née Moreau), was of French-English descent. In 1908 the Jansky family moved from Oklahoma to Madison where Cyril Jansky became a member of the Electrical Engineering faculty at the University of Wisconsin. Karl graduated from the university with a BS in physics in 1927. He excelled scholastically (elected to Phi Beta Kappa) and in athletics he was the fastest skater on the university’s ice-hockey team.
- Jansky, C. Moreau Jr. (1957). “The Beginnings of Radio Astronomy.” American Scientist 45: 5–12.Google Scholar
- — (1933). “Electrical Disturbances Apparently of Extraterrestrial Origin.” Proceedings of the Institute of Radio Engineers 21: 1387–1398.Google Scholar
- — (1933). “Electrical Phenomena That Apparently are of Interstellar Origin.” Popular Astronomy 41: 548–555.Google Scholar
- — (1935). “A Note on the Source of Interstellar Interference.” Proceedings of the Institute of Radio Engineers 23: 1158–1163.Google Scholar
- Kraus, John D. (1966). Radio Astronomy. New York: McGraw-Hill, pp. 6, 328.Google Scholar
- — (1976). Big Ear. Powell, Ohio: Cygnus-Quasar Books, p. 21.Google Scholar