Hale, George Ellery

Hale, George Ellery (18681938), a United States astronomer. He was a pioneer in the field of astrophysics, which uses the techniques of physics to study the physical qualities of the sun and other stars, and was especially noted for his studies of the sun. Hale organized and directed the Yerkes Observatory, 18951905, and the Mount Wilson Observatory, 190423. Later he helped establish the Palomar Observatory. Palomar's Hale Telescope, the second-largest reflecting telescope ever built, is named in his honor.

Hale was born in Chicago. In 1890 he graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was on the faculty of the newly opened University of Chicago, 18921905. During 188992 he developed the spectroheliograph, an instrument that shows the distribution of the elements in the sun's atmosphere, and in 1924 he invented the spectrohelioscope, a similar instrument. In 1908 he discovered that strong magnetic fields hover above sunspots. Hale also discovered that the sun has a magnetic field, and that its magnetic and geographic poles do not coincide.