Edwin Hubble

Edwin Hubble bigraphy, stories - American astronomer

Edwin Hubble : biography

20 November 1889 – 28 September 1953

Edwin Powell Hubble (November 20, 1889 – September 28, 1953) was an American astronomer who played a crucial role in establishing the field of extragalactic astronomy and is generally regarded as one of the most important observational cosmologists of the 20th century. Hubble is known for showing that the recessional velocity of a galaxy increases with its distance from the earth, implying the universe is expanding. Known as "Hubble’s law", this relation had been discovered previously by Georges Lemaître; a Belgian priest/astronomer who published his work in a less visible journal. There is still much controversy surrounding the issue and some argue that it should be referred to as "Lemaître’s law" although this change has not taken hold in the astronomy community.

Hubble is also known for providing substantial evidence that many formerly known "nebulae" were actually galaxies beyond the Milky Way. American astronomer Vesto Slipher provided the first evidence to this argument almost a decade before.

Hubble supported the Doppler shift interpretation of the observed redshift that had been proposed earlier by Slipher, and that led to the theory of the metric expansion of space., Hubble, Edwin, Astrophysical Journal, vol. 84, p.517, The SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System, Hubble, Edwin, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 97, p.513, The SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System He tended to believe the frequency of light could, by some so far unknown means, decrease the longer light travels through space.Engelbert Broda:



  • Bruce Medal in 1938;
  • Franklin Medal in 1939;
  • Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1940;
  • Legion of Merit for outstanding contribution to ballistics research in 1946.

Named after him

  • Asteroid 2069 Hubble;
  • The crater Hubble on the Moon;
  • Orbiting Hubble Space Telescope;
  • Edwin P. Hubble Planetarium, located in the Edward R. Murrow High School, Brooklyn, NY.;
  • Edwin Hubble Highway, the stretch of Interstate 44 passing through his birthplace of Marshfield, Missouri;
  • Hall of Famous Missourians 2003;
  • 2008 "American Scientists" US stamp series, $0.41.
  • The Edwin P. Hubble Medal of Initiative is awarded annually by the city of Marshfield, Missouri — Hubble’s birthplace.
  • Hubble Middle School in Wheaton, Illinois, was renamed for Edwin Hubble when Wheaton Central High School was converted to a middle school in the fall of 1992.


The universe goes beyond the Milky Way galaxy

Edwin Hubble’s arrival at Mount Wilson, California, in 1925 coincided roughly with the completion of the Hooker Telescope, then the world’s largest telescope. At that time, the prevailing view of the cosmos was that the universe consisted entirely of the Milky Way Galaxy. Using the Hooker Telescope at Mt. Wilson, Hubble identified Cepheid variables (a kind of star; see also standard candle) in several spiral nebulae, including the Andromeda Nebula and Triangulum. His observations, made in 1922–1923, proved conclusively that these nebulae were much too distant to be part of the Milky Way and were, in fact, entire galaxies outside our own. This idea had been opposed by many in the astronomy establishment of the time, in particular by the Harvard University-based Harlow Shapley. Despite the opposition, Hubble, then a thirty-five-year-old scientist, had his findings first published in The New York Times on , 1924, and then more formally presented in the form of a paper at the January 1, 1925 meeting of the American Astronomical Society. Hubble’s findings fundamentally changed the scientific view of the universe. Supporters of Hubble’s expanding universe theory state that Hubble’s discovery of nebulas outside of our galaxy helped pave the way for future astronomers. Although some of his more renowned colleagues simply scoffed at Hubble’s idea of an expanding universe, Hubble ended up publishing his findings on nebulas. This published work earned him an award titled the American Association Prize and five hundred dollars from Burton E. Livingston of the Committee on Awards.