George Ellery HALE

Classe di Scienze fisiche, matematiche e naturali

Socio straniero dal 5 maggio 1922
Nato a Chicago il 29 giugno 1868
Deceduto a Pasadena il 21 febbraio1938


George Hale began studying the solar spectrum as a wealthy teenager in Chicago. As an undergraduate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology he invented the spectroheliograph. He worked in his private Kenwood observatory two years before joining the faculty of the University of Chicago, for which he built the Yerkes Observatory and its 40-inch refractor. To expand solar observations and promote astrophysical studies he founded Mt. Wilson Observatory, where he discovered that sunspots were regions of relatively low temperatures and high magnetic fields. He hired Harlow Shapley and Edwin Hubble as soon as they finished their doctorates, and he encouraged research in galactic and extragalactic astronomy as well as solar and stellar astrophysics. Due to ill health, Hale retired from the Mt. Wilson Observatory in 1923 and spent most of his remaining years on solar research at his private Hale Laboratory in Pasadena. Hale planned and raised funds for 60-, 100-, and 200-inch reflectors, the last completed on Palomar Mountain and named for him after his death. He played a major role in founding or rebuilding the American Astronomical Society, the Astrophysical Journal, the California Institute of Technology, the National Academy of Sciences and its Proceedings, the National Research Council, and the Huntington Library.


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