Harold Johnson (astronomer)

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Harold Lester Johnson
Born (1921-04-17)April 17, 1921
Denver, Colorado
Died April 2, 1980(1980-04-02) (aged 58)
Mexico City, Mexico
Cause of death heart attack
Alma mater University of Denver (B.S. 1942)
University of California, Berkeley (Ph.D. 1948)
Known for UBV photometric system
Spouse(s) Mary Elizabeth Jones
Scientific career
Fields Astronomy

Lowell Observatory, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Yerkes Observatory, McDonald Observatory, University of Texas–Austin,

Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, National Autonomous University of Mexico
Thesis The Development of an Electronic Device for the Measurement of Stellar Spectrograms for Radial Velocity. (1948)
Doctoral advisor Harold Weaver

Harold Lester Johnson (April 17, 1921 – April 2, 1980) was an American astronomer. Harold Johnson was born in Denver, Colorado, on April 17, 1921. He received his early education in Denver public schools and went to the University of Denver, graduating with a degree in mathematics in 1942. Johnson was recruited by the MIT Radiation Laboratory to work on World War II related radar research. After the war Johnson began graduate studies in astronomy at University of California, Berkeley where he completed his thesis under Harold Weaver in 1948. In the following years working at Lowell Observatory, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Yerkes Observatory (where he met William Wilson Morgan), McDonald Observatory, University of Texas–Austin, the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory in Tucson, Arizona, and the National Autonomous University of Mexico he applied his instrumental and electronic talents to developing and calibrating astronomical photoelectric detectors. He died of a heart attack in Mexico City in 1980. He was survived by his wife, Mary Elizabeth Jones, of 26 years and two children.

Johnson was awarded the Helen B. Warner Prize by the American Astronomical Society in 1956. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1969. He is remembered for introducing the UBV photometric system (also called the Johnson or Johnson-Morgan system), along with William Wilson Morgan in 1953.

External links[edit]

  • Johnson, H. L.; Morgan, W. W. (1953). "Fundamental stellar photometry for standards of spectral type on the revised system of the Yerkes spectral atlas". Astrophysical Journal. 117: 313–52. doi:10.1086/145697.