Michael William Feast

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Michael William Feast (born 29 December 1926 in Deal, England) is an honorary professor of astronomy[1] at the University of Cape Town, noted particularly for his work on the cosmic distance scale using variable stars.[2][3]

Career and honours[edit]

Feast holds the degrees of BSc (Hons) and PhD from London.[citation needed] From 1949 to 1951 he worked with Gerhard Herzberg at the National Research Council in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, following which from 1952 to 1974 he was at the Radcliffe Observatory, Pretoria[4] He was also director of the South African Astronomical Observatory from 1977 to 1992.[5]

He received the DeBeers Medal[6] from the South African Institute of Physics in 1992 and the Gill Medal from the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa in 1983.[7][8] Feast is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society[citation needed] and a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa. [9] The University of Cape Town awarded him an honorary Doctor of Science degree in 1993.[10] Feast is an editor of the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.[11]

His most frequently cited paper (440 times[12]) relates to his pioneering study of the brightest stars in the Magellanic Clouds with Thackeray and Wesselink;[13] see, for example, Hodge (1999).[14]

Much of his work has related to the Cepheid period-luminosity relation,[15] for example that on its zero-point as determined via the Hipparcos satellite[16]


  1. ^ "Honorary Professor Michael W. Feast". Department of Astronomy, University of Cape Town. Retrieved March 18, 2013. 
  2. ^ Warner, Brian (1999). Warner, B., ed. Introduction. Variable Stars and Galaxies, a Symposium in Honour of Professor Michael W. Feast ..., Conference Series Vol. 30. Astronomical Society of the Pacific. 
  3. ^ Webb, Stephen (1999). Measuring the Universe: The Cosmological Distance Ladder. Springer. p. 155. 
  4. ^ Thackeray, A.D. (1972). The Radcliffe Observatory. The Radcliffe Trust. .
  5. ^ "South African Astronomical Observatory". Archived from the original on 2013-09-28. 
  6. ^ "Past winners of the De Beers Gold Medal". South African Institute of Physics. Retrieved March 18, 2013. 
  7. ^ Anon (1983). "Citation". Monthly Notes of the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa. 42: 16. Bibcode:1983MNSSA..42...16. 
  8. ^ "Gill Medal". Astronomical Society of South Africa. Archived from the original on May 3, 2012. Retrieved March 18, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Royal Society of SA Fellows". Royal Society of South Africa. Archived from the original on August 14, 2012. Retrieved March 18, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Honorary degrees awarded". University of Cape Town. Archived from the original on March 4, 2013. Retrieved March 18, 2013. 
  11. ^ "RAS Committee Members". RAS website. Royal Astronomical Society. Retrieved 3 September 2013. 
  12. ^ "SAO/NASA ADS Custom Query Form Mon Mar 18 14:32:27 2013". Adsabs.harvard.edu. Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
  13. ^ Feast, M.W.; Thackeray, A.D.; Wesselink, A.J. (1960). "The Brightest Stars in the Magellanic Clouds". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 121: 337–385. Bibcode:1960MNRAS.121..337F. doi:10.1093/mnras/121.4.337. 
  14. ^ Hodge, Paul (1999). Chu, Y.H.; et al., eds. Magellanic Cloud Studies, Past and Future. New Views of the Magellanic Clouds, IAU Symposium 190. 190. IAU. pp. 3–7. 
  15. ^ Feast, M.W.; Walker, A.R. (1987). "Cepheids as Distance Indicators". Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics. Annual Reviews Inc. 25: 345–375. Bibcode:1987ARA&A..25..345F. doi:10.1146/annurev.aa.25.090187.002021. 
  16. ^ Feast, M.W.; Catchpole, R.M. (1997). "The Cepheid period-luminosity zero-point from HIPPARCOS trigonometrical parallaxes". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 286: L1. Bibcode:1997MNRAS.286L...1F. doi:10.1093/mnras/286.1.L1.