||Hodge, Paul W.|
|Series title:||Harvard Books on Astronomy Ser.|
|Publication Date:||Oct 2013|
| Publisher:||Harvard University Press|
| Book Format:||Ebook|
|List Price:||USD $65.00|
Born on a Missouri farm, Harlow Shapley became interested in astronomy by accident. As told by Shapley, he went to the University of Missouri expecting to enroll in the journalism school. However, the school of journalism was not scheduled to open until the following year, so he decided to study astronomy. Shapley earned his Ph.D. from Princeton University and then moved to the Mt. Wilson Observatory. There he did his most celebrated work, such as demonstrating experimentally for the first time that earth is not at the center of the Milky Way galaxy but on the outskirts---once again illustrating that earth does not occupy a central location in the cosmos. Consequently, many of his colleagues and fellow astronomers began referring to Shapley as the "modern Copernicus." In 1921 he became director of the Harvard College Observatory, transforming the observatory into a world-famous institution during his 30-year tenure. Shapley also continued his research program, which included the discovery of the first small galaxies, called the Sculptor and Fornax dwarf galaxies after the constellations in whose direction they are oriented. He was also a well-known writer, lecturer, and public scientist, playing a major role in founding UNESCO.
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