A is for Astronomy
When TOF was just a whippersnapper, he had a telescope. Didn't everyone? It was, if memory serves, a 2" reflector and with it, TOF discovered the mountains and craters on the Moon, the moons of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn, and one memorable night Uranus (still in those benighted times pronounced scatalogically). Oh, and Mars was a distinct disc, though his moons were invisible. Single stars were revealed as doubles; the Milky Way comprised uncounted individual stars. The night sky was very dark, and hereabouts still largely is.
|Harriot, who could have been|
Galileo if he had only published
his freaking notebook!
A while back, Br. Guy Consolmagno blogged a photograph of a 1957 astronomy conference at the Vatican observatory. TOF thought his Faithful Reader would find the photo striking.
A fascinating number of these scientists are "names" -- e.g. Schwarzschild and his radius, Oort and his cloud, Lindblad and his resonances, Herbig and his -Haro objects, Chalonge and his microphotometer, Thackeray and his Globules, Strömgren and his photometric filters -- or the progenitor of an important feature of modern astronomy -- e.g., Lemaître and his Big Bang, Baade and Population I & II, Fowler and Hoyle and their stellar fusion producing the elements, Morgan and his stellar classification system (OBAFGKM) -- or have had things named for him -- e.g., Spitzer and his eponymous space telescope.a. Daniel O'Connell (1896 - 1982) director of the Vatican Observatory 1952 - 1970b. Giuseppi Armellini (1887 - 1958) Studied planetary formation, head of Campidoglio/Monte Mario observatoryc. Walter Baade: (1893-1960) By observing stars in the Andromeda Galaxy he invented our present Population I and II system; his observations of Cepheid variables there recalibrated our understanding of the size of the universed. Adriaan Blaauw (1914 -2010) Founder and first director of European Southern Observatory; studied high velocity starse. Hermann Brück (1905 - 2000) Refounder of Dunksink Observatory, Ireland; Astronomer Royal for Scotland 1957 - 1975. (He fled Nazi Germany to work at the Vatican Observatory in 1936)f. Daniel Chalonge (1895 - 1977) A founder of the Institut d'astrophysique de Paris, studied stellar photometry, inventor of the Chalonge microphotometerg. William Fowler: (1911-1995) Won the Nobel prize in Physics in 1983 for his theories of how elements are made by nuclear reactions inside starsh. Otto Heckmann (1901 - 1983) First director of the European Southern Observatory; expert in cosmologyi. George Herbig: (1920 - ) Discoverer of "Herbig-Haro" objects, a particular type of young starj. Fred Hoyle: (1915-2001) Worked with Fowler on theories of how elements are formed in stars; invented the term “Big Bang”l. Georges Lemaître: (1894-1966) In 1928, Fr. Lemaître proposed the cosmological theory that has come to be known as the “Big Bang”m. Bertil Lindblad: (1895-1965) Explained certain orbital resonances (“Lindblad resonances”) and details of the rotation of galaxies; such work has ultimately led to the detection of “dark matter”n. William Morgan (1906-1994) Developed stellar classification system, proved the existence of spiral arms in the Milky Way
o. Jason Nassau (1893 - 1965) Expert in galactic structure.p. Jan Oort (1900 - 1992) Determined the existence of a distant cloud of comets now called the Oort Cloudq. Ed Salpeter: (1924-2008) Applied nuclear theory to the formation of elements in stars; described how black holes provide the energy of active galactic nucleir. Allan Sandage (1926 - 2010) First accurate measurement of Hubble Constant, discoverer of quasarss. Martin Schwarzschild: (1912-1997) The Scharzschild radius derived by him indicates the “event horizon” of a Black Holet. Lyman Spitzer: (1914-1997) An expert on interstellar dust, he first proposed telescopes in space; the Spitzer Space Telescope is named for himu. Bengt Strömgren: (1908-1987) Determined relative abundances of helium and other elements in stars; devised the Strömgren system of photometric filtersv. A. David Thackeray (1910 - 1978) Estimated size and age of universe via variables in Magellanic Clouds; discovered Thackeray's Globules (stellar formation region)w. Patrick Treanor (1920 - 1978) Director of the Vatican Observatory, 1970-1978x. Pietro Salviucci (1936 - 1973) Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciencesz. V. Préobrajenski, secretary of the Pontifical Adacemy
This was indeed the A-Team of astronomy in their day.