Yerkes Observatory, 1892-1950: The Birth, Near Death, and Resurrection of a Scientific Research Institution

Front Cover
University of Chicago Press, Apr 15, 2008 - Science - 394 pages
0 Reviews
Drawing on his experience as historian of astronomy, practicing astrophysicist, and director of Lick Observatory, Donald Osterbrock uncovers a chapter in the history of astronomy by providing the story of the Yerkes Observatory.

"An excellent description of the ups and downs of a major observatory."—Jack Meadows, Nature

"Historians are much indebted to Osterbrock for this new contribution to the fascinating story of twentieth-century American astronomy."—Adriaan Blaauw, Journal for the History of Astronomy

"An important reference about one of the key American observatories of this century."—Woodruff T. Sullivan III, Physics Today

What people are saying - Write a review

Yerkes Observatory, 1892-1950: the birth, near death, and resurrection of a scientific research institution

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In 1997, the Yerkes Observatory will celebrate its 100th anniversary. Osterbrock (Pauper and Prince: Ritchey, Hale & Big American Telescopes, Univ. of Arizona, 1993) is eminently qualified to write ... Read full review


1 Birth 1868897
2 Infancy 18971904
3 Near Death 19041932
4 The Savior 18971931
5 The Boy President 19291932
6 The Boy Director 19321936
7 Resurrection on the Campus and at Yerkes 18931937
8 Birth of McDonald Observatory 19331939
10 World War II 19391945
11 Golden Years 19451950
12 Epilogue To the Centennial 19501997
Abbreviations Used in Notes and Bibliography

9 An Extraordinarily Fine Group 19361942

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page ix - My father's columns and papers are now held at the Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin. In the present volume, his articles appear as originally published, with no substantive changes. Since his editors sometimes were inconsistent in spelling a word such as "programming," I have reconciled these discrepancies.
Page ix - ... 29, 1946, he married German-born Hertha Sponer, a physicist at Duke University who had been one or his assistants in Göttingen. In 1951, Franck was awarded the Planck Medal, and in 1953 he received honorary citizenship from the city of Göttingen, where he died during a visit. [Franck's papers are in the special collections department of the Regenstein Library at the University of Chicago. Other letters and an extensive oral history interview are included in the collections housed in various...

References to this book

About the author (2008)

Donald E. Osterbrock, Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, is himself an astronomer in the Lick Observatory and directed it for eight years. He has published a book on the astrophysics of gaseous nebulae, as well as a biography of James E. Keeler, and is President-Elect of the American Astronomical Society.

Bibliographic information