Alfred Fowler, British astronomer

Alfred Fowler, British astronomer

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Alfred Fowler (1868-1940), British astronomer. Fowler spent his career at the Normal School of Science, which later became part of Imperial College of Science and Technology, London. He studied there before becoming assistant to pioneer spectroscopist Norman Lockyer, and eventually became professor of astrophysics. His spectroscopic techniques made him one of the first to notice that sunspots are cooler than the material surrounding them. He also identified titanium oxide in cool stars, magnesium hydride in sunspots, carbon monoxide in comets, and ozone in the Earth's atmosphere. He won the Bruce and Gold Medals of the Royal Astronomical Society, serving as its president from 1919-21.

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