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His studies at the University of Chicago were concentrated on law, which led to a bachelor of science degree in Hubble also became a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity.

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He spent the three years at The Queen's College, Oxford after earning his bachelor's as one of the university's first Rhodes Scholars , initially studying jurisprudence instead of science as a promise to his dying father , [17] and later added literature and Spanish, [17] and earning his master's degree. In , Hubble's father moved his family from Chicago to Shelbyville, Kentucky , so that the family could live in a small town, ultimately settling in nearby Louisville.

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The family moved once more to Everett Avenue, in Louisville's Highlands neighborhood, to accommodate Edwin and William. Hubble was also a dutiful son, who despite his intense interest in astronomy since boyhood, acquiesced to his father's request to study law, first at the University of Chicago and later at Oxford, though he managed to take a few math and science courses.

After the death of his father in , Edwin returned to the Midwest from Oxford but did not have the motivation to practice law. Instead, he proceeded to teach Spanish, physics and mathematics at New Albany High School in New Albany, Indiana , where he also coached the boys' basketball team. After a year of high-school teaching, he entered graduate school with the help of his former professor from the University of Chicago to study astronomy at the university's Yerkes Observatory , where he received his Ph.

His dissertation was titled "Photographic Investigations of Faint Nebulae". Hubble volunteered for the United States Army and was assigned to the newly created 86th Division , where he served in 2nd Battalion, Infantry Regiment. He rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel, [22] and was found fit for overseas duty on July 9, , but the 86th Division never saw combat. After the end of World War I , Hubble spent a year in Cambridge, where he renewed his studies of astronomy. Hubble remained on staff at Mount Wilson until his death in Shortly before his death, Hubble became the first astronomer to use the newly completed giant inch 5.

Hubble also worked as a civilian for U. Army at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland during World War II as the Chief of the External Ballistics Branch of the Ballistics Research Laboratory during which he directed a large volume of research in exterior ballistics which increased the effective firepower of bombs and projectiles.

His work was facilitated by his personal development of several items of equipment for the instrumentation used in exterior ballistics, the most outstanding development being the high-speed clock camera, which made possible the study of the characteristics of bombs and low-velocity projectiles in flight. The results of his studies were credited with greatly improving design, performance, and military effectiveness of bombs and rockets. For his work there, he received the Legion of Merit award.


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Hubble was raised as a Christian but some of his later statements suggest uncertainty. Hubble had a heart attack in July while on vacation in Colorado. He was taken care of by his wife and continued on a modified diet and work schedule. He died of cerebral thrombosis a spontaneous blood clot in his brain on September 28, , in San Marino, California. No funeral was held for him, and his wife never revealed his burial site.


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Edwin Hubble's arrival at Mount Wilson Observatory, California in coincided roughly with the completion of the inch 2. At that time, the prevailing view of the cosmos was that the universe consisted entirely of the Milky Way Galaxy. Using the Hooker Telescope at Mt. Wilson , Hubble identified Cepheid variables a kind of star that is used as a means to determine the distance from the galaxy [30] [31] — see also standard candle in several spiral nebulae , including the Andromeda Nebula and Triangulum.

His observations, made in , proved conclusively that these nebulae were much too distant to be part of the Milky Way and were, in fact, entire galaxies outside our own, suspected by researchers at least as early as when Immanuel Kant 's General History of Nature and Theory of the Heavens appeared. This idea had been opposed by many in the astronomy establishment of the time, in particular by Harvard University -based Harlow Shapley.

Despite the opposition, Hubble, then a thirty-five-year-old scientist, had his findings first published in The New York Times on November 23 , , [32] then presented them to other astronomers at the January 1, meeting of the American Astronomical Society. Hubble's findings fundamentally changed the scientific view of the universe. Supporters state that Hubble's discovery of nebulae outside of our galaxy helped pave the way for future astronomers. This published work earned him an award titled the American Association Prize and five hundred dollars from Burton E.

Livingston of the Committee on Awards. Hubble also devised the most commonly used system for classifying galaxies , grouping them according to their appearance in photographic images. He arranged the different groups of galaxies in what became known as the Hubble sequence.

Hubble went on to estimate the distances to 24 extra-galactic nebulae, using a variety of methods.

In Hubble examined the relation between these distances and their radial velocities as determined from their redshifts. His estimated distances are now known to all be too small, by up to a factor of about 7. This was due to factors such as the fact that there are two kinds of Cepheid variables or confusing bright gas clouds with bright stars.

Humason , he found a roughly linear relationship between the distances of the galaxies and their radial velocities corrected for solar motion , [11] a discovery that later became known as Hubble's law.

Hubble's Universe : Greatest Discoveries and Latest Images

This meant, the greater the distance between any two galaxies, the greater their relative speed of separation. Yet the reason for the redshift remained unclear. In he wrote a letter to the Dutch cosmologist Willem de Sitter expressing his opinion on the theoretical interpretation of the redshift-distance relation: [37]. Humason and I are both deeply sensible of your gracious appreciation of the papers on velocities and distances of nebulae.

We use the term 'apparent' velocities to emphasize the empirical features of the correlation. The interpretation, we feel, should be left to you and the very few others who are competent to discuss the matter with authority. Today, the "apparent velocities" in question are usually thought of as an increase in proper distance that occurs due to the expansion of the universe. Light travelling through an expanding metric will experience a Hubble-type redshift, a mechanism somewhat different from the Doppler effect although the two mechanisms become equivalent descriptions related by a coordinate transformation for nearby galaxies.

In the s, Hubble was involved in determining the distribution of galaxies and spatial curvature. These data seemed to indicate that the universe was flat and homogeneous, but there was a deviation from flatness at large redshifts. According to Allan Sandage ,. To the very end of his writings, he maintained this position, favouring or at the very least keeping open the model where no true expansion exists, and therefore that the redshift "represents a hitherto unrecognized principle of nature. There were methodological problems with Hubble's survey technique that showed a deviation from flatness at large redshifts.

In particular, the technique did not account for changes in luminosity of galaxies due to galaxy evolution. When Einstein learned of Hubble's redshifts, he immediately realized that the expansion predicted by general relativity must be real, and in later life, he said that changing his equations was "the biggest blunder of [his] life.

Hubble also discovered the asteroid Cincinnati on August 30, In he wrote The Observational Approach to Cosmology and The Realm of the Nebulae which explained his approaches to extra-galactic astronomy and his view of the subject's history. In December , Hubble reported to the American Association for the Advancement of Science that results from a six-year survey with the Mt.

Hubble's Universe: Greatest Discoveries and Latest Images – The EarthSky Store

Wilson telescope did not support the expanding universe theory. According to an LA Times article reporting on Hubble's remarks, "The nebulae could not be uniformly distributed, as the telescope shows they are, and still fit the explosion idea. Explanations which try to get around what the great telescope sees, he said, fail to stand up. The explosion, for example, would have had to start long after the earth was created, and possibly even after the first life appeared here.

Historians quoted in the article were skeptical that the redactions were part of a campaign to ensure Hubble retained priority. However, the observational astronomer Sidney van den Bergh published a paper [47] suggesting that while the omissions may have been made by a translator, they may still have been deliberate. At the time, the Nobel Prize in Physics did not recognize work done in astronomy.

Hubble spent much of the later part of his career attempting to have astronomy considered an area of physics, instead of being its own science. He did this largely so that astronomers—including himself—could be recognized by the Nobel Prize Committee for their valuable contributions to astrophysics. This campaign was unsuccessful in Hubble's lifetime, but shortly after his death, the Nobel Prize Committee decided that astronomical work would be eligible for the physics prize.

Often called a "pioneer of the distant stars," astronomer Edwin Hubble — played a pivotal role in deciphering the vast and complex nature of the universe. His meticulous studies of spiral nebulae proved the existence of galaxies other than our own Milky Way. Had he not died suddenly in , Hubble would have won that year's Nobel Prize in Physics. Note that the assertion that he would have won the Nobel Prize in is likely false, although he was nominated for the prize that year. A famous quote by Edwin Hubble goes: "Equipped with his five senses man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science".

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the astronomer. For the politician, see Edwin N. For the jazz trombonist, see Eddie Hubble. Marshfield, Missouri , U. San Marino, California , U. Grace Burke Sr. Early universe. Subject history. Discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation. Religious interpretations of the Big Bang theory.

Archived from the original on June 30, Retrieved June 21, Retrieved April 6, Jerrick Ventures LLC. Astrophysical Journal. Bibcode : ApJ Cepheids in the Magellanic Clouds. Catalog of Cepheids from the Large Magellanic Cloud". Acta Astronomica. Bibcode : AcA Classical Cepheids in the Large Magellanic Cloud". Annals of Harvard College Observatory.

Hubble's Universe: Greatest Discoveries and Latest Images

Bibcode : AnHar.. The Astrophysical Journal. Its astronomical data would fill 50 million books. Thousands of astronomers have used the Hubble harvest to probe the universe. They have published more than 8, scientific papers. Hubble is the most productive scientific instrument ever built. So why a new book on the Hubble Space Telescope? As a full-time astronomy writer and editor, I've been keeping tabs on the Hubble images for its entire voyage.

Each is a new thrill to see because, thanks to regular service and upgrade visits by space shuttle crews ending with the final visit in just before the shuttles were retired , the telescope is functioning better than ever, and seeing deeper into the universe than ever before. Because light from remote galaxies takes millions, often billions, of years to reach us, Hubble sees galaxies not as they are, but as they were in the distant past.

This time machine effect has allowed astronomers to effectively tunnel almost all the way back to the big bang -- the origin of our universe. About a decade ago, my publisher approached me about doing a book about the Hubble images, but I knew the best images were yet to come. By , however, the Hubble image harvest had reached critical mass, encompassing every important category of celestial object.

It was not only the quality of pictures; it was what they revealed! Hubble's Universe is my selection of the best, the latest and the most important. A great many of the images have never before published in any book. I liken it to a personal photo album of Hubble's travels, postcards with "guess what I saw! Hubble has revealed the universe's age. It has expanded our understanding of star birth, star death and galaxy evolution, and has helped move black holes from theory to fact. It has led to the discovery of dark energy, which mysteriously accelerates the expansion of the universe.

It has shown us all stages of galaxy evolution, from birth to toddler to death. The pervasive question for astronomers and scientists for most of the past century was the age of the universe. As recently as the s, depending on which astronomer you asked, the estimates ranged anywhere from 9 billion years old to 18 billion years old.

After five years of work, Hubble gave us the answer: As close as we may ever know for sure. For that alone, the Hubble telescope is regarded as an unqualified success. Although there will be no further repairs or upgrades to Hubble, it is operating at peak performance and is expected to continue to do so into the next decade.

Hubble's next challenge is astronomy's biggest mystery: dark energy. Dark energy is the force that appears to be accelerating the expansion of the universe. We can observe what it does; we just don't know what it is. Hubble is already well past its predicted year lifespan. It may last twice that span. What a pay-off! Terence Dickinson is the author of 15 books, several of which are international best-sellers. NightWatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe is regarded as the essential guidebook for beginning stargazers. His ability to make complicated concepts easily understood to the average reader has won him numerous awards and earned him wide readership.

Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. What do the pictures tell us? Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard. Join HuffPost Plus. Terence Dickinson.