Rudolph Minkowski

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Rudolph Minkowski
Minkowski,Rudolph 1934 London.jpg
Born (1895-05-28)May 28, 1895
Strasbourg, German Empire
Died January 4, 1976(1976-01-04) (aged 80)
Berkeley, California
Nationality Germany
Fields astronomy
Institutions Palomar Observatory
Known for supernovae
Notable awards Bruce Medal in 1961
Asteroids discovered: 1 [1]
1620 Geographos September 14, 1951

Rudolph Minkowski (born Rudolf Leo Bernhard Minkowski; May 28, 1895 – January 4, 1976) was a German-American astronomer.[2]

Minkowski was the son of Marie Johanna Siegel and physiologist Oskar Minkowski.[3][4] His uncle was Hermann Minkowski, a mathematician and one of Einstein's teachers in Zürich. Rudolph studied supernovae and, together with Walter Baade, divided them into two classes (Type I and Type II) based on their spectral characteristics. He and Baade also found optical counterparts to various radio sources.

He headed the National Geographic Society – Palomar Observatory Sky Survey, a photographic atlas of the entire northern sky (and down to declination -22°) up to an apparent magnitude of 22.[2]

Together with Albert George Wilson, he co-discovered the near-Earth Apollo asteroid 1620 Geographos in 1951.[5] He also discovered Planetary Nebula M2-9. He won the Bruce Medal in 1961.[2] The lunar crater Minkowski is named after him and his uncle.



  1. ^ "Minor Planet Discoverers (by number)". Minor Planet Center. 23 May 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c Kuhi, Leonard V. (March 1976). "Rudoph L. Minkowski". Physics Today. 29 (3): 78–80. doi:10.1063/1.3023389. 
  3. ^ Notable Scientists from 1900 to the Present: I–M
  4. ^ The Concise Dictionary of American Jewish Biography
  5. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (1620) Geographos. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 128. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 

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