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

Aldrich, Loyal Blaine

Reference work entry

BornMilwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, 20 November 1884

DiedWashington, District of Columbia, USA, 11 February 1965

Loyal Blaine Aldrich was the third director of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory [SAO] (1944–1955) and is best known for his contribution to studies of the solar constant. Loyal was the son of Lafayette and Isabella (Hay) Aldrich. He enrolled at the University of Wisconsin, earning his bachelor’s degree (1907) and master’s degree (1909). Aldrich became a student of Charles Elwood Mendenhall, a professor of physics who had previously been an assistant to  Charles Abbot, an astronomer at the SAO since 1895. This connection enabled Aldrich to build a lifetime career at the SAO. In 1919, he married Elizabeth Stanley and the couple had two sons, Stanley and Lafayette. After Elizabeth’s death in 1941, Aldrich married Sarah Grace Smith in 1943.

In 1909, Aldrich joined the staff at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory as a “bolometric assistant.” The SAO had been founded in...

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Selected References

  1. Abbot, Charles G., Papers, Record Unit 7005, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  2. Abbot, C. G. and Loyal Aldrich (1942). Annals of the Astrophysical Observatory of the Smithsonian Institution, vol. 6. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.Google Scholar
  3. Aldrich, Loyal and W. H. Hoover (1952). “The Solar Constant.” Science 116: 3.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Anon. (1968). “Aldrich, Loyal Blaine.” In Who Was Who in America, vol. 4 (1961–1968), p. 19. Chicago: Marquis Who’s Who, Inc.Google Scholar
  5. Burggraaf, Pieter (1996). Harqua Hala Letters:The Story of Arizona’s Forgotten 1920s Smithsonian Institution Observatory. Phoenix: Arizona State Office of the Bureau of Land Management.Google Scholar
  6. DeVorkin, David (1990). “Defending a Dream: Charles Greeley Abbot’s Years at the Smithsonian.” Journal for the History of Astronomy 21: 121–136.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. — (1998). “Charles Greeley Abbot.” Biographical Memoirs, National Academy of Sciences, 73: 3–23.Google Scholar
  8. Doel, Ron (1990). “Redefining a Mission: The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory on the Move.” Journal for the History of Astronomy 21: 137–156.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Feulner, G. (2011). “The Smithsonian solar constant data revisited: No evidence for a strong effect of solar activity in ground-based insolation data.” Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 11: 3291–3301.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. True, Webster P. (1946). The First Hundred Years of the Smithsonian Institution, 1846–1946. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA