Chapter

HARLOW SHAPLEY: DEFINING OUR GALAXY

I.S. GLASS

in Revolutionaries of the Cosmos

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780199550258
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191718700 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199550258.003.0008
HARLOW SHAPLEY: DEFINING OUR GALAXY

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This chapter begins by providing a brief description of Harlow Shapley's biography and early life. It then discusses Harlow's life as a student of the University of Missouri and Princeton. It narrates his study with Henry Norris Russell about the discovery of approximate mathematical methods for analysing the behaviour of binary stars. It tells of Shapley's efforts to make himself known in other places. It mentions Shapley's other important works such as his guess that RR Lyrae variables might also be standard candles, the distances of the globular clusters, the discovery of the centre of the Milky Way, and finding the Sculptor and Fornax dwarf galaxies. It also tells of the criticisms and oppositions that he encountered.

Keywords: Harlow Shapley; University of Missouri; Princeton University; binary stars; RR Lyrae; Sculptor dwarf galaxy; Fornax dwarf galaxy; Milky Way

Chapter.  15122 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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