Gérard de Vaucouleurs
|Gérard de Vaucouleurs|
|Born||Gérard Henri de Vaucouleurs
25 April 1918
|Died||7 October 1995
|Notable awards||Henry Norris Russell Lectureship 1988|
Gérard Henri de Vaucouleurs (25 April 1918 – 7 October 1995) was a French astronomer.
Life and career
Born in Paris, he had an early interest in amateur astronomy and received his undergraduate degree in 1939 at the Sorbonne in that city. After military service in World War II, he resumed his pursuit of astronomy.
Fluent in English, he spent 1949–51 in England, 1951–57 in Australia, the latter at Mount Stromlo Observatory, 1957–58 at Lowell Observatory in Arizona and 1958–60 at Harvard. In 1960 he was appointed to the University of Texas at Austin, where he spent the rest of his career. He died of a heart attack in his home in Austin at the age of 77 and was survived by his wife.
He specialized in the study of galaxies and was co-author of the Third Reference Catalogue of Bright Galaxies. His specialty included reanalyzing Hubble and Sandage's galaxy atlas and recomputing the distance measurements utilizing a method of averaging many different kinds of metrics such as luminosity, the diameters of ring galaxies, brightest star clusters, etc., in a method he called "spreading the risks." During the 1950s he promoted the idea that galactic clusters are grouped into superclusters.
De Vaucouleurs was awarded the Henry Norris Russell Lectureship by the American Astronomical Society in 1988. He was awarded the Prix Jules Janssen of the French Astronomical Society in the same year.
- De Vaucouleurs' law
- Edwin Hubble
- Galaxy color–magnitude diagram
- William Wilson Morgan
- Julien Peridier
- "Gerard de Vaucouleurs, 77, Galactic Astronomer, Is Dead", The New York Times, October 11, 1995, retrieved 2012-02-21
- Lahav O; Naim A; Buta RJ et al. (1995), "Galaxies, Human Eyes, and Artificial Neural Networks", Science 267 (5199): 859–662, arXiv:astro-ph/9412027, Bibcode:1995Sci...267..859L, doi:10.1126/science.267.5199.859, PMID 17813914
- de Vaucouleurs, G (1993), "Tests of the long and short extragalactic distance scales", PNAS 90 (11): 4811–4813, Bibcode:1993PNAS...90.4811V, doi:10.1073/pnas.90.11.4811, PMC 46605, PMID 11607392
- Masursky H; Batson RM; McCauley JF et al. (1972), "Mariner 9 Television Reconnaissance of Mars and Its Satellites: Preliminary Results", Science 175 (4019): 294–305, Bibcode:1972Sci...175..294M, doi:10.1126/science.175.4019.294, PMID 17814535
- de Vaucouleurs, G; Wertz, JR (1971), "Hierarchical big bang cosmology", Nature 231 (5298): 109, Bibcode:1971Natur.231..109D, doi:10.1038/231109a0, PMID 16062575
- de Vaucouleurs, G (1970), "Postscript", Science 168 (3934): 917, doi:10.1126/science.168.3934.917-a, PMID 17844177
- de Vaucouleurs, G (1970), "The Case for a Hierarchical Cosmology", Science 167 (3922): 1203–1213, Bibcode:1970Sci...167.1203D, doi:10.1126/science.167.3922.1203, PMID 17751407
- Obituary: Gerard Henri De Vaucouleurs, 1918-1995
- National Academy of Sciences Biographical Memoir