Arthur Hoag

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Arthur Hoag
Born(1921-01-28)28 January 1921
Died17 July 1999(1999-07-17) (aged 78)
Tucson, Arizona, United States

Arthur Allen Hoag (January 28, 1921 - July 17, 1999) was an American astronomer most famous for his discovery of Hoag's Object, a type of ring galaxy in 1950.


He was born January 28, 1921, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.[1] The son of Lynne Arthur Hoag (Harvard Medical School, Cornell, and University of Michigan faculty member) and wife Wylma Wood Hoag. He had two sisters, Mary Alice (born 1922) and Elizabeth Ruth (born 1919), a son named Tom and a daughter named Stefanie. His mother and sister Mary (aged 3) died on June 1, 1926 when the Washington Irving was rammed by an oil barge and sunk on the North River.[2][3]

His interest in astronomy started early on. In 1942 he graduated with a degree in physics from Brown University. Upon graduation he went to work at the Naval Ordnance Laboratory. He received his Ph.D. in Astronomy from Harvard in 1953 under Bart Bok. In 1955, he moved to Arizona to become the director of the Flagstaff Station of the USNO where he worked on several research programs.[1]

In 1966, he was appointed director of the stellar division of Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO), where he helped develop the 4-meter Nicholas U. Mayall Telescope.[1] In 1977, he became director of the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. He was noted for his work in photoelectric and photographic photometry. Hoag also developed astronomical sites and instruments, and researched quasi-stellar objects.[4] He retired as director of the Lowell Observatory in 1986. He died on July 17 1999 in Tucson, Arizona.[1]

Awards and honors[edit]

Asteroid 3225 Hoag, discovered by Carolyn and Eugene Shoemaker, was named after him in December 1985.[4] He also discovered Hoag's Object in 1950, a nearly perfect ring galaxy.


  1. ^ a b c d American Astronomical Society, Retrieved January 2018.
  2. ^ "Day Liner Is Sunk in Hudson by Barge; Two Are Missing", The New York Times, New York, p. 1, June 2, 1926, ISSN 0362-4331
  3. ^ "Dr. Lynne Hoag Dies; Former Professor", The New York Times, New York (published February 18, 1936), p. 23, February 17, 1936, ISSN 0362-4331
  4. ^ a b Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). "(3225) Hoag". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (3225) Hoag. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 268. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_3226. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3.