Gérard de Vaucouleurs

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Gérard de Vaucouleurs
Gérard de Vaucouleurs00.jpg
Born Gérard Henri de Vaucouleurs
(1918-04-25)25 April 1918
Died 7 October 1995(1995-10-07) (aged 77)
Austin, Texas
Nationality  France
Fields Astronomy
Alma mater Sorbonne
Notable awards Henry Norris Russell Lectureship 1988

Gérard Henri de Vaucouleurs (25 April 1918 – 7 October 1995) was a French astronomer.

Life and career[edit]

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.[1]

He specialized in the study of galaxies and co-authored the Third Reference Catalogue of Bright Galaxies with his wife Antoinette (1921-1987), a fellow UT Austin astronomer and lifelong collaborator.[2] 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.[1]

The de Vaucouleurs modified Hubble sequence is a widely used variant of the standard Hubble sequence.

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 Société astronomique de France (Astronomical Society of France) in the same year.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Thomas Jr., Robert McG. (October 11, 1995), "Gerard de Vaucouleurs, 77, Galactic Astronomer, Is Dead", The New York Times, retrieved 2012-02-21 
  2. ^ Memoriam to Antoinette de Vaucouleurs from University of Texas Austin

External links[edit]

Other resources[edit]