The Realm of the Nebulae Edwin Hubble, Robert P. Kirshner, Sean M. Carroll
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- Publication date:
- 05 Apr 2013
- 256 pages: 234 x 156 x 23mm
In less than a century, the accepted picture of the universe transformed from a stagnant place, comprised entirely of our own Milky Way galaxy, to a realm inhabited by billions of individual galaxies, hurtling away from one another. We must thank, in part, Edwin P. Hubble - one of the greatest observational astronomers of the 20th century. In 1936, Hubble described his principal observations and conclusions in "The Realm of the Nebulae", which quickly became a classic work. Two new introductory pieces, by Robert P. Kirshner and Sean M. Carroll, explain advances since Hubble's time and his work's foundational importance.
In 1919, Edwin Hubble (1889-1953) accepted a staff position at the Mount Wilson Observatory, then home to the world's largest telescope. Using stars called Cepheid variables, he determined the distance to mysterious nebulae, providing critical evidence that they are not wisps of dust inside the Milky Way but independent galaxies. Observing these galaxies' spectra, he then determined that the farther away a galaxy is located, the faster it appears to move away, a principle known as Hubble's Law. Hubble studied mathematics and astronomy at the University of Chicago. He was one of the first Rhodes Scholars at Oxford University, where he studied law. After serving briefly in World War I, he returned to the University of Chicago and earned his doctorate degree in 1917.