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Portrait of George Ellery Hale, 1868-1938.

Portrait of George Ellery Hale, 1868-1938.

H408/0094

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Portrait of the American astronomer George Ellery Hale, 1868-1938. Hale studied physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and while still an undergraduate he invented the spectroheliograph. This instrument is capable of photographing the sun at precise wavelengths and is now a basic tool of solar astronomy. He studied sunspots and discovered that they possess strong magnetic fields the polarity of which reverse on a 23-year cycle. Hale spent a lot of time persuading various bodies to fund the building of larger telescopes, including the 200 inch Mount Palomar reflector, the second largest telescope in the world.

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