AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 1 HAD I: Centennial Celebration of the Founding of Mount Wilson Observatory
Special Session, Sunday, January 9, 2005, 2:00-5:00pm, Sunrise

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[1.01] Bruce Medalists at the Mt. Wilson Observatory

J. S. Tenn (Sonoma State University)

The institution which succeeded the Mt. Wilson Station of Yerkes Observatory in 1904 has had six names and three sites. From 1948-1980 it was united with Caltech's Palomar Observatory, and since then its main observatory has been in Chile, though still headquartered on Santa Barbara Street in Pasadena. For more than half of the twentieth century it was the leading observatory in the world. One bit of evidence for this is the amazing number of its staff members awarded the Bruce Medal.

The Catherine Wolfe Bruce Gold Medal of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific has been awarded for lifetime contributions to astronomy since 1898. It is an international award. It wasn't until 1963 that the number of medalists who had worked primarily in the United States reached half the total.

Yet fourteen of the first 87 medalists spent most of their careers at Mt. Wilson, including the period when it was Mt. Wilson and Palomar, and another three were Caltech observers who used the telescopes of the jointly operated observatory. Several more medalists made substantial use of the telescopes on Mt. Wilson and Palomar Mountain.

We will discuss highlights of the careers of a number of these distinguished astronomers: directors George Ellery Hale, Walter Adams, Ira Bowen, and Horace Babcock; solar observer and satellite discoverer Seth Nicholson; instrument builder Harold Babcock; galactic and cosmological observers Frederick Seares, Edwin Hubble, Walter Baade, Rudolph Minkowski, and Allan Sandage; and spectroscopists Paul Merrill, Alfred Joy, Olin Wilson, Jesse Greenstein, Maarten Schmidt, and Wallace Sargent. We will touch briefly on others who used Mt. Wilson and/or Palomar, including Harlow Shapley, Joel Stebbins, Charlotte Moore Sitterly, Donald Osterbrock, and Albert Whitford.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://phys-astro.sonoma.edu/brucemedalists. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: joe.tenn@sonoma.edu

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© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.