DDA 33rd Meeting, Mt. Hood, OR, April 2002
Session 10. Galaxies
Tuesday, April 23, 2002, 1:30-3:00pm

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[10.03] Walter Baade, Dynamical Astronomer at Goettingen, Hamburg, Mount Wilson, and Palomar Observatories

D. E. Osterbrock (UCO/Lick Obs./UCSC)

Walter Baade, famous for his astrophysical discoveries, also made many contributions in dynamical astronomy. His thesis at Goettingen University on the spectroscopic orbit of \beta Lyrae was based on spectrograms his teacher, Johannes Hartmann, had taken at Potsdam years earlier.

Immediately on receiving his Ph.D. in 1919, Baade joined the Hamburg Bergedorf Observatory staff, and soon was the sole observer with its 1-m reflector, the largest telescope in Europe. Under its director, Richard Schorr, Baade's main job at first was to obtain direct plates of asteroids and comets for positional measurements. As an incidental part of this observing he discovered many asteroids, eight of which were eventually named, including 966 Muschi (his wife's nickname), 944 Hidalgo, with large orbital semi-major axis, eccentricity, and inclination, and 1036 Ganymed, whose orbit extends inside that of Mars. Baade also discovered a new comet, 1922 II. During the close approach of Eros in 1930 Baade measured its period of light variation, its color, and its mean magnitude. After Pluto was discovered in 1930 he measured its position assiduously, following it as far from opposition as he could.

In 1931 Baade moved to Mount Wilson, where he concentrated almost entirely on globular-cluster, supernova, and galaxy research. He saw many asteroid trails on his long exposures but did not report them except for one, 7448 (still not named), which showed a very long trail on a 3-hr exposure of the Crab nebula. At Palomar, using the 48-in Schmidt soon after it went into operation, he dicovered and reported 1566 Icarus, with a very small perihelion distance, and later his second comet, 1955 VI.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: awharris@lithos.jpl.nasa.gov

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #3
© 2002. The American Astronomical Society.