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Although he died before its return, he was proven correct, and the comet was named in his honor.

French astronomer Charles Messier — composed a database of objects known at the time as "nebulae," which included objects at its final publication, though additional objects were added based on his personal notes. Many of these objects are often listed with their catalog name, such as the Andromeda Galaxy, known as M Messier also discovered 13 comets over the course of his lifetime.

The Science - History of the Universe Vol. 1: Astronomy

British astronomer William Herschel — cataloged over 2, deep sky objects. He also discovered Uranus and its two brightest moons, two of Saturn's moons, and the Martian ice caps. William trained his sister, Caroline Herschel — , in astronomy, and she became the first woman to discover a comet, identifying several over the course of her lifetime.

Henrietta Swann Leavitt — was one of several women working as a human "computer" at Harvard College, identifying images of variable stars on photographic plates. She discovered that the brightness of a special flashing star known as a Cepheid variable was related to how often it pulsed. This relationship allowed astronomers to calculate the distances of stars and galaxies, the size of the Milky Way, and the expansion of the universe.

In the early 20th century, German physicist Albert Einstein — became one of the most famous scientists ever after proposing a new way of looking at the universe that went beyond current understanding. Einstein suggested that the laws of physics are the same throughout the universe, that the speed of light in a vacuum is constant, and that space and time are linked in an entity known as space-time, which is distorted by gravity.

In a lecture given in , fellow scientist Robert Oppenheimer said, "Einstein was a physicist, a natural philosopher, the greatest of our time.

Great Astronomers: James Bradley - Robert Stawell Ball | Feedbooks

At the same time Einstein was expanding man's view of the universe, American astronomer Edwin Hubble — calculated that a small blob in the sky existed outside of the Milky Way. Prior to his observations, the discussion over the size of the universe was divided as to whether or not only a single galaxy existed. Hubble went on to determine that the universe itself was expanding, a calculation which later came to be known as Hubble's law.

Hubble's observations of the various galaxies allowed him to create a standard system of classification still used today. American astronomer Harlow Shapley — calculated the size of the Milky Way galaxy and general location of its center. He argued that the objects known as "nebulae" lay within the galaxy, rather than outside of it, and incorrectly disagreed with Hubble's observations that the universe boasted galaxies other than the Milky Way.

Frank Drake born is one of the pioneers in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. He was one of the founders of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence SETI and devised the Drake equation, a mathematical equation used to estimate the number of extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy able to be detected. American astronomer Carl Sagan — may not have been a great scientist in comparison to some on this list, but he is one of the most famous astronomers. My Wishlist Sign In Join. Be the first to write a review. Add to Wishlist. Ships in 7 to 10 business days.

Link Either by signing into your account or linking your membership details before your order is placed. Description Product Details Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! More Books in Astronomy See All. Moonology Working with the Magic of Lunar Cycles. In Stock. Apollo 11 : The Inside Story. Space Look Inside Board Books. The Planets. Penzias German-born American co-discovered the cosmic microwave background radiation. Robert W.


Wilson American co-discovered the cosmic microwave background radiation. Joseph H. Taylor, Jr. Russell Alan Hulse American co-discovered the first binary pulsar. Annie Jump Cannon American classified spectra of many thousands of stars; published catalogs of variable stars including she discovered. Maximilian Wolf German discovered hundreds of asteroids using photography. George E.

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Hale American revolutionized spectral observations by inventing and using the spectroheliograph; discovered magnetic fields in sunspots; first astronomer to be officially called an astrophysicist; founded the Yerkes, Mt. Wilson, and Palomar Observatories. Henrietta Swan Levitt American discovered the period-luminosity relation for Cepheid variables. Willem de Sitter Dutch studied the astronomical consequences of Einstein's theory of general relativity; deduced that a near-empty universe would expand.

Ejnar Hertzsprung Danish invented the color-magnitude diagram; by studying star clusters, independently discovered the relationship between absolute magnitude and spectral types of stars; a plot of this relationship is now called a Hertzsprung-Russell diagram or H-R diagram ; determined distance to the Small Magellanic Cloud.

Karl Schwarzchild German first to give an exact solution of Einstein's equations of general relativity, giving an understanding of the geometry of space near a point mass; also made the first study of black holes. Kiyotsugu Hirayama Japanese discovered the existence of groups of asteroids with similar orbital elements. He hypothesized that the asteroids in these families now called Hirayama families were physically related.

Vesto M. Slipher American first to measure the radial velocity of the Andromeda galaxy. Henry Norris Russell American used photographic methods to measure stellar parallaxes, leading to the discovery of the relationship between absolute magnitude and spectral types of stars; a plot of this relationship is now called a Hertzsprung-Russell diagram or H-R diagram. Bernhard Schmidt Swedish-born German invented and constructed the first Schmidt reflecting telescope using a corrector plate he devised to eliminate aberration of the image.

Arthur S. Eddington British first to confirm Einstein's prediction that light will bend near a star; discovered the mass-luminosity relation for stars; theoretically explained the pulsation of Cepheid variables. Harlow Shapley American discovered the size of our galaxy and the direction of its center by studying the distribution of globular clusters; determined the orbits of many eclipsing binary stars. Edwin Hubble American first to measure distance to the Andromeda nebula, establishing it to be a separate galaxy; later measured distances to other galaxies and discovered that they recede at a rate proportional to their distance Hubble's law.

The Most Famous Astronomers of All Time

Rudolph Minkowski German divided supernovae into Types I and II; optically identified many of the early radio sources. Bernard-Ferdinand Lyot French invented the coronagraph. Otto Struve Russian-born American made detailed spectroscopic studies of close binary stars; discovered interstellar matter H II regions.

Jan Hendrik Oort Dutch calculated distance to center of galaxy; determined period for sun to complete one revolution of Milky Way; calculated the mass of the Milky Way; proposed existence of huge spherical cloud of icy comets the Oort cloud left behind from formation of the solar system. Cecelia Payne-Gaposchkin English discovered that stars are composed primarily of hydrogren, with helium the second-most abundant element. George Gamow Russian-born American first suggested hydrogen fusion as source of solar energy.

Karl G. Jansky American discovered radio waves from space, thereby pioneering the birth of radio astronomy. Gerard P. Bruno B. Rossi Italian pioneer of x-ray astronomy and space plasma physics; participated in discovery of the first known x-ray source outside the solar system Scorpius X Bart Jan Bok Dutch suggested that small dark globules of interstellar gas and dusk now called Bok globules are collapsing to form new stars.