Hubble's Variable Nebula (NGC
2261) and Edwin P. Hubble
Edwin P. Hubble (1889-1953) at Palomar Mountain
Image Courtesy of the Archives, California
Institute of Technology
Edwin Powell Hubble is recognized as having been
one of the foremost astronomers of the modern era.
He attended college at the University of Chicago
and studied law under a Rhodes scholarship at Oxford
University. A change of heart led him to pursue
astronomy, and he completed his PhD at Chicago's
Yerkes Observatory in 1917.
In the 1920s, there was a serious debate over
whether galaxies were part of our Milky Way Galaxy.
Using the theoretical groundwork of Henrietta Swan-Leavitt
and Harlow Shapley, Hubble's revolutionary observational
work proved that galaxies are indeed "island universes."
Hubble also outlined a classification system for
galaxies that is still in use. His greatest discovery
was the linear relationship between a galaxy's distance
and the speed with which it is moving. The ratio
of the two is known as the Hubble Constant.
Hubble's Variable Nebula (NGC 2261) was originally
discovered by Sir William Herschel in 1783. In 1916,
Edwin Hubble began studying the object, noting changes
in the size, brightness, and structure of the nebula
over a period of several months. Hubble wrote two
scientific papers on the object for The Astrophysical
Journal in 1916
1917 while he was a student at Yerkes Observatory.
In 1948, Hubble's Variable Nebula was the first
astronomical object to be observed with the Palomar
200" telescope (pictured above).
Other Links about Hubble's Variable Nebula:
Other Links about Edwin Hubble: