@stro object for the week of 04/10/2000
courtesy of the Mt. Wilson Archive
Edwin Hubble (1889-1953) is probably one of the most famous observational
astronomers of the 20th century. He is credited with many amazing
discoveries and his findings revolutionized celestial theories.
His research continues to form the basis of current astronomical
Dr. Hubble was
born in Marshfield, Missouri, to Virginia Lee James from Virginia
City, Nevada, and John Powell Hubble from Missouri. He received
his BS from the University of Chicago in 1910 and was awarded a
Rhodes scholarship to Oxford University in the same year where he
went on to earn an MA. In 1913 he passed the bar and practiced law
until he gave it up for astronomy. In 1914 he returned to the Yerkes
Observatory at the University of Chicago to work on his doctoral
work in astronomy. In 1917 he received his Ph.D. in astronomy.
He was invited
to join the Mt. Wilson observatory staff in Pasadena, California,
but the day after he finished his doctoral thesis and took the oral
examination he enlisted with the US Army to take part in World War
I. He was commissioned a captain and later attained the rank of
major. He was discharged from the Army in 1919 and immediately moved
to Mt. Wilson to accept the position he'd been offered before the
was accomplished using the power of the then-largest 100" Hooker
Telescope at the Mt. Wilson observatory. He is credited with the
research into the distances of celestial objects. This research
eventually led to the discovery of the expansion of the universe
and contributed to the theory of the Big Bang. In addition to the
work on celestial distances he is credited with proving that other
galaxies exist instead of being "nebulae" in our own galaxy
as was previously thought, and that they are moving apart from each
Dr. Hubble eventually
became convinced that the 100" Hooker telescope was too limiting
and made a push for making a telescope with a larger aperture. He
was a member of the Mt. Wilson advisory committee for the construction
of the 200" Hale telescope at Palomar
Observatory, advised during its construction and was the first
person to observe with it.
Dr. Hubble died
of a stroke on September 28, 1953 and his memory has been honored
with the naming of the Hubble Space Telescope.
links were instrumental in finding information about Dr. Hubble:
biographical information about Edwin Hubble...
on Edwin Hubble...
Wilson photo of Dr. Hubble...