Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Edwin Hubble

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Edwin Hubble

Article excerpt

The Hubble Space Telescope was named after Edwin Hubble, one of the foremost astronomers of the 20th century. His discovery in the 1920s that countless galaxies exist beyond our own Milky Way galaxy revolutionized our understanding of the universe and our place within it.

Most astronomers of Hubble's day thought that all of the fuzzy objects called spiral nebulae were contained within the Milky Way galaxy. Our galaxy, it was thought, was the universe. However, in 1923 Hubble aimed the Mount Wilson Observatory's 100-inch Hooker telescope at a hazy patch of sky called the Andromeda Nebula. He found that it contained stars just like the ones in our galaxy, only dimmer. One star he saw was a Cepheid variable, a type of star that can be used to measure distances. From this, Hubble deduced that the Andromeda Nebula was not a nearby star cluster but rather an entire other galaxy, now called the Andromeda galaxy.

In the following years, he made similar discoveries with other nebulae. …

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