Kapteyn universe and harlow shapley biography

kapteyn universe and harlow shapley biography
In , Shapley was instrumental in organizing a campaign in academia against the controversial US bestseller book considered by many as pseudoscience Worlds in Collision by Russian expatriate psychiatrist Immanuel Velikovsky. Although proved incorrect by Harlow Shapley in , the theory was a step in the development of cosmological models as the speculation of the existence of other galaxies, comparable in size and structure to our own, placed the earth in its proper perspective with respect to the rest of the universe.

The astronomical issues were soon resolved in favor of Curtis' position when Edwin Hubble discovered Cepheid variable stars in the Andromeda Galaxy. After the debate, however, he was hired to replace the recently deceased Edward Charles Pickering as director of the Harvard College Observatory. He is also known to have incorrectly opposed Edwin Hubble 's observations that there are additional galaxies in the universe other than the Milky Way.

Shapley fiercely critiqued Hubble and regarded his universe and harlow as junk science. However, after he received a letter from Hubble showing Hubble's observed light curve of V1, he withdrew his criticism.

He reportedly told a colleague, "Here is the letter that destroyed my universe. He served as director of the HCO from to During this time, he hired Cecilia Payne later Cecilia Payne-Gaposhkinwho, inbecame the universe and harlow shapley biography person to earn a doctorate at Radcliffe College in the field of astronomyfor work done at Harvard College Observatory. He wrote many books on astronomy and the sciences. McGraw—Hill, —co-written with Helen E. Howarthalso on the staff of the Harvard College Observatorythe first of the publisher's series of source books in the biography of the sciences.

From he was on the original standing committee of the Foundation for the Study of Cycles. In the s, Shapley helped found government funded scientific associations, including the National Science Foundation. In his inaugural address he referred to the danger of the "genius maniac" and proposed the elimination of "all primates that show any evidence of signs of genius or even talent". InShapley was instrumental in organizing a campaign in academia against the controversial US bestseller book considered by many as pseudoscience Worlds in Collision by Russian expatriate psychiatrist Immanuel Velikovsky.

Inhe wrote the "Liquid Water Belt" which gave scientific credence to the ecosphere theory of Hubertus Strughold. In his book "Of Stars and Men", Shapley proposed the term Metagalaxies for what are now called superclusters. Shapley died in a nursing home in Boulder, Colorado on October 20,shortly before his 87th birthday.

Although Shapley was an agnostic, he was greatly interested in religion.

kapteyn universe and harlow shapley biography

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kapteyn universe and harlow shapley biography

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kapteyn universe and harlow shapley biography

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kapteyn universe and harlow shapley biography

No notes for slide. It is the groups of stars of which the sun is one. There is no written record of how the Milky Way was noticed. But since it is there easily picked up by the universe and harlow shapley biography eye, it must have also been familiar with our ancestors, long, long time ago.

Egyptian mythology described the Milky Way was as a pool of cow's milk. There appears to be a significant discrepancy between the work of Shapley using the globular clusters and much of our early discussion about the appearance of the Milky Way in the sky. Why are the globular clusters tracing out a round, spherical distribution on the sky if the Milky Way itself appears to be a flattened plane? The answer is that the Milky Way is actually a little of both! If we use a different type of object to trace the structure of the Milky Way, we find a different size and shape. If we use open clusters as tracers, they do match well the shape of the visible band of the Milky Way.

Open clusters are predominantly young objects, so if we select other objects that also trace out the regions in the Milky Way that contain newly forming or newly formed stars e. So the globular clusters which contain very old stars reveal a spherical component of the Milky Way, while the open clusters and other young stars and star forming regions reveal a disk-shaped component of the Milky Way. Again, we can use modern data and plot the locations of both open clusters and globular clusters to compare and contrast their locations. Below are two different views of this data.

kapteyn universe and harlow shapley biography

The first is a top-down view and the second is an edge-on view. Harlow Shapley was born on Nov. Harlow received his early education in a one-room country schoolhouse.

Harlow Shapley

About age 15, he went to a kind of business school in Pittsburg, Kansas, and within a year, became a newspaper reporter.

He saved his money and resolved to get educated. Shapley then entered the University of Missouri, intending to study journalism, but, finding no degree program available, took up astronomy—and never put it down.

In he received his bachelor's degree; the following year he completed his master's degree.

kapteyn universe and harlow shapley biography

He received the valuable Thaw fellowship of Princeton University and began studying under H. In Shapley received his doctoral degree. Shapley's thesis, a lasting contribution to astronomy, dealt with methods for determining the physical properties—for example, the period of revolution, the orbital inclination, and the mean density—of eclipsing binary double stars from their light curves" their intensity as a function of time.

From the outset of his universe and harlow shapley biography, however, he had a pressing desire to determine the distances to these stars, and, after a trip of several months to Europe, Shapley went in to Mt. Wilson Observatory to study stellar distances. He made a giant step forward in his research program when, within a year, he realized that the variable Cepheid stars are not eclipsing binaries but single pulsating stars. Their distances, therefore, could be determined by measuring their apparent magnitudes, using Henrietta S.

Leavitt's period-luminosity relationship to obtain their absolute magnitudes, and employing the inverse-square law. Furthermore, since pulsating Cepheid stars frequently occur in the so-called globular clusters, Shapley could employ the former to determine distances to the latter.

SHAPLEY, HARLOW

Wilson's inch reflecting telescope, Shapley took numerous photographs from to Analyzing them, he discovered that although the globular clusters are symmetrically distributed about the plane of the Milky Way, most appear to be concentrated in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius. From these observations, Shapley drew the revolutionary conclusion that our solar system is not at the center of our galaxy but is actually far roughly 50, light-years off-center. Thus Shapley in displaced the sun from the center of our galaxy. Moreover, Shapley concluded that our galaxy, lens-shaped, is of immense dimensions: These estimates had to be revised later to take account both of interstellar absorption and W.

`Great Debate' Review and History

This revolutionary discovery stimulated protracted debate and was undoubtedly Shapley's greatest single achievement. But his contributions to astronomy by no means stopped in Four years later he became director of Harvard Observatory and for more than three decades thereafter, simultaneously carried out creative research and fulfilled his administrative duties. He became known as Mr. Magellanic Clouds" for his many studies on this pair of relatively close-by, irregularly shaped galaxies; he discovered in the first of the dwarf sculptor-type galaxies; he directed immense surveys of stellar spectra and galactic populations—all this, and much more, while bringing the overall research and instructional programs of Harvard Observatory to a position of preeminence in the world.

kapteyn universe and harlow shapley biography

In addition to being elected to the National Academy of Sciences inShapley received numerous honorary degrees, medals, and universe and harlow shapley biography high honors. In he became director emeritus and Paine Professor of Astronomy at Harvard, and in professor emeritus. He died in A selected bibliography is included in Shapley's delightfully written reminiscences, Through Rugged Ways to the Stars A chapter on his life and work is in Navin Sullivan, Pioneers in Astronomy For more general background see Sir William C.

Harlow Shapley was born on November 2,in NashvilleMissouri. He worked for a newspaper in Kansas and later attended the University of Missouri, intending to study journalism, but taking up astronomy instead. After completing his doctoral thesis, Shapley began work at Mt. Wilson Observatory in California inwhere he studied Cepheid variables. Brighter Cepheids have longer periods, and Shapley was able to determine the distances to faint Cepheids and show that the Milky Way galaxy was far larger than previously believed.

Great Debate (astronomy) - Video Learning - humanf.org

Shapley's most important contribution to astronomy was to note that the globular clusters were concentrated toward the constellation Sagittarius, and he made the correct assumption that the center of this concentration marked the center of the Milky Way.

He thus moved the universe from a Copernican Sun -centered system to a Sun located far from the galactic center in one of the spiral arms. On April 20,a famous debate was held between Shapley and fellow astronomer Heber Curtis on the subject of "The Scale of the Universe. Shapley was correct in placing the Sun far from the center of the Milky Way but incorrect in saying the spiral nebulae were nearby gas clouds.

Star Clusters and the Shape of the Milky Way

In Shapley was offered the directorship of the Harvard College Observatory, where he stayed for the rest of his career. He died in Boulder, Coloradoon October 20, Shapley's legacy as a popularizer of astronomy is maintained by the American Astronomical Society's Harlow Shapley Visiting Lectureships Program, which sends astronomers on twoday visits to universities and colleges in the United StatesCanadaand Mexico.

He was astronomer at Mt. Wilson Observatory from towhen he became director of Harvard Observatory.