George Ellery Hale

George Ellery Hale in his office at Mount Wilson Observatory, about 1905.

George Ellery Hale (June 29, 1868February 21, 1938) was an American solar astronomer, born in Chicago. He was educated at MIT, at the Observatory of Harvard College, (1889-90), and at Berlin (1893-94). As an undergraduate at MIT, he invented the spectroheliograph, with which he made his discoveries of the solar vortices and magnetic fields of sun spots.

In 1890 he was appointed director of the Kenwood Astrophysical Observatory; he was professor of Astrophysics at Beloit College (1891-93; associate professor at the University of Chicago until 1897, and full professor (1897-1905). He was coeditor of Astronomy and Astrophysics in 1892-95 and after 1895 editor of the Astrophysical Journal.

He helped found a number of observatories, including Yerkes Observatory, Mount Wilson Observatory, and the Hale Solar Laboratory. At Mount Wilson, he hired and encouraged Harlow Shapley and Edwin Hubble and did a great deal of fundraising, planning, organizing and promotion of astronomical institutions, societies and journals. Hale also played a central role in developing the California Institute of Technology into a leading research university and in building the Palomar Observatory.



* Henry Draper Medal in 1904.

* Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1904.

* Bruce Medal in 1916.

* Janssen Medal in 1917.

* Galileo Medal, Florence, in 1920.

* Actonian Prize in 1921.

* Copley Medal in 1932.

* Elliott Cresson Medal in Physics in 1926 - a Franklin Institute Award.

* Franklin Medal in Physics in 1927 from The Franklin Institute.

Named after him

* Hale Telescope at Palomar Observatory.

* 22-year solar Hale cycle.

* Asteroid 1024 Hale.

* Hale crater on the Moon.

* Hale crater on Mars.

* Hale Middle School, Woodland Hills, CA

* Hale House, Shoreland Hall, University of Chicago

* Hale Building, Pasadena, California


* Bruce Medal page

* Awarding of the Bruce Medal: PASP 28 (1916) 12

* Awarding of the RAS gold medal: MNRAS 64 (1904) 388

* The New Heavens, 1922, by George Hale, from Project Gutenberg


* ApJ 87 (1938) 369

* JRASC 32 (1938) 192

* MNRAS 99 (1939) 322

* PASP 50 (1938) 156


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