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Science | Dictionary | Astronomers

Astronomers have contributed greatly to our understanding of physics and motion. In this section you can learn all about famous astronomers and what each of them has contributed to our understanding of space.

Burnham, Sherburne Wesley

Burnham, Sherburne Wesley (1838-1921), a United States astronomer. His General Catalogue of Double Stars (1906) contains data on 13,665 double stars, more than a thousand of which he discovered.


Nostradamus, the Latin name of Michel de Notredame (1503-1566), a French astrologer and physician. His predictions of events were widely believed during his lifetime and continued to arouse much interest many years after his death. Because the prophe ... See more »

 Cassini, Giovanni Domenico

Cassini, Giovanni Domenico (Jean Dominique) (1625-1712), an Italian astronomer. As a skilled observer using the most accurate telescopes available at the time, Cassini made many important discoveries about the planets of the solar system.From 1650 to ... See more »


Flammarion, (Nicolas) Camille (1842-1925), a French astronomer. He was the author of many popular books on astronomy, including The Atmosphere (1871), Popular Astronomy (1879), and Astronomy for Amateurs (1904). Flammarion contributed to the study of ... See more »

 Clark, Alvan

Clark, Alvan (18041887), a United States maker of astronomical lenses. Five times his firm, Alvan Clark & Sons, made the then-largest telescope lens in the world. The fifth one, completed 10 years after his death, is the 40-inch (102-cm) refracto ... See more »

 Cannon, Annie Jump

Cannon, Annie Jump (18631941), a United States astronomer. She had a long, distinguished career at Harvard Observatory, 18961940, and was one of the foremost women scientists of her time. She was a pioneer in the analysis of the spectra of stars and ... See more »

 Antony Hewish

Antony Hewish is a British astronomer and astrophysicist, a scientist who studies the physical nature, origin, and development of the solar system, galaxies, and the universe. Hewish won the 1974 Nobel Prize in physics for his discovery of pulsars. See more »

 Eddington, Sir Arthur Stanley

Eddington, Sir Arthur Stanley (1882--1944), a British astronomer. As chief assistant at the Royal Greenwich Observatory, 1906--13, he began his studies of the motion, internal structure, and evolution of stars. He was appointed professor of astronomy ... See more »

 Hall, Asaph

Hall, Asaph (18291907), a United States astronomer. In 1877 Hall discovered the two satellites of Mars, naming them Deimos and Phobos. He also made valuable studies of double stars and determined the rotation period of Saturn.Hall was born in Goshen, ... See more »

 Lovell, Sir Bernard

Lovell, Sir (Alfred Charles) Bernard (1913-), an English astronomer. In 1946 Lovell demonstrated the validity of using the techniques of radio astronomy to study meteors. During 1953-57, he supervised the construction of one of the world's largest ra ... See more »

 Sagan, Carl

Sagan, Carl (19341996), a United States scientist and author. He was a leading popularizer of science, appearing frequently on television and writing many best-selling books. He became best known for his 1980 television series, Cosmos, and a book of ... See more »