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Bart Bok, Dutch-American astronomer

Bart Bok, Dutch-American astronomer

H402/0261

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Credit

HARVARD COLLEGE OBSERVATORY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY HARVARD COLLEGE OBSERVATORY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Bart Bok. Portrait of Bart Jan Bok (1906-83), Dutch-American astronomer, standing in front of a radio telescope. Born in the Netherlands, Bok won a scholarship to study in the USA in 1929, becoming an American citizen in 1938. He and his wife, Priscilla, made a lifelong study of the structure of our galaxy, the Milky Way. They found that radio data did not agree with optical images and suggested that the Milky Way's spiral arms were less elliptical than previously thought. In 1947 he discovered Bok globules. These small, dark clouds of gas are thought to be condensing to form star clusters. Photographed in 1956.

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