Martin Ryle, British astronomer

Martin Ryle, British astronomer

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Credit: GARY BROWN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Martin Ryle (1918-1984). Caricature of the British astronomer Sir Martin Ryle. Ryle is best known for his pioneering work on developing the new science of radio astronomy, and in particular the aperture synthesis method. He worked at Cambridge University, England, and used the new techniques in the 1940s and 1950s to observe quasars, the most distant objects known at the time. Ryle was the first professor of radio astronomy at Cambridge University, and was Astronomer Royal from 1972 to 1982. He shared the 1974 Nobel Prize in Physics with Hewish for their work on radio astronomy. He was knighted in 1966, and won the Royal Society's Royal Medal in 1973.

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