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Vote for the most influential astronomer of all time!


badgerchap
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Most influential astronomer of all time!  

46 members have voted

  1. 1. Most influential astronomer of all time!

    • SIR ISAAC NEWTON
      10
    • GALILEO GALILEI
      13
    • JOHANNES KEPLER
      4
    • TYCHO BRAHE
      1
    • EDWIN HUBBLE
      10
    • WILLIAM HERSCHEL
      3
    • NICOLAUS COPERNICUS
      3
    • WALTER BAADE
      0
    • ANNIE JUMP CANNON
      2
    • FRANK DRAKE
      0


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Kinda stealing CrowdFoundAstro's idea here, but, since nobody on his thread seemed to agree, I thought I might run a bit of a poll!

So I've picked out the ten astronomers who I think deserve the most praise and, although I'm sure I've missed out some glaringly obvious ones, here they are:

1. SIR ISAAC NEWTON

- Alright, not much of an astronomer, but without his help, astronomy would be in a right mess - no gravity, for one thing. And more to the point (to all those pure visual observers out there) no dobs!

2. GALILEO GALILEI

- Just for putting the final nail into the coffin of the geocentric model, he must deserve a round of applause! Even if he did try and take credit for inventing the telescope - which he most certainly did not!

3. JOHANNES KEPLER

- Kepler's laws define so much in astronomy, and it's thanks to him that astronomers were able to predict the existence of Neptune and Pluto, as well as the motions of pretty much every astronomical object in the universe. Also, the guy had a really rough life and still managed to contribute so much to science.

4. TYCHO BRAHE

- Just for giving so much cash to Kepler and giving him a place to stay!

5. EDWIN HUBBLE

- Hubble found that the universe is expanding, and gave us an understanding of red-shift, without which we wouldn't be able to determine the distances to the earliest galaxies and the age of the universe.

6. WILLIAM HERSCHEL

- Discovered Uranus, and also discovered infrared radiation - pretty useful these days!

7. NICOLAUS COPERNICUS

- Set things up for Galileo by developing the Heliocentric model of the solar system.

8. WALTER BAADE

- Defined Population I and II stars, and was the first to resolve individual stars in M31. He also revised Hubble's initial calculation of the size of the observable universe, and got a much closer result!

9. ANNIE JUMP CANNON

- Often overlooked, but a personal favourite of mine, Annie Cannon spent many tireless years cataloguing countless stellar spectra, giving us the Henry Draper Classification, which in turn gave birth to The Harvard Stellar Classification. She also came up with the mnemonic "Oh Be A Fine Girl, Kiss Me".

10. FRANK DRAKE

- Living legend and founder of SETI, good ol' Frank reminds us that there might just be someone out there. No luck yet, but he keeps plodding on like the soldier that he is.

So there's my list - go on, write a post and vote! I'll give it a week or so and tot up the list and see who wins. I know I've missed people that probably deserve to be on the list, and I'm sure you'll all tell me who they are, but this is a start, at least!

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By "influential" do you mean from a scientific perspective or getting astronomy "out there" to the masses?

From a scientific angle, Nicolaus Copernicus

From a "popularisation" angle, no contest... Sir Patrick Moore by a mile!

Can I vote twice? :)

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They're going back a bit ... a lot of Astronomy has happened recently :) But from the early Astronomers, surely Charles Messier deserves a mention?

The list also misses the whole of modern cosmology (Penzias & Wilson?), stellar nucleosynthesis (Hoyle?) and as personal favourites, Carl Sagan or SPM!

Number 9 gets a "yes, but..." from me, she was one of the early pioneers but Morgan and Keenan are surely the most influential in this area. The MK system is still completely standard in spectral classification.

Edited by Ben Ritchie
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Oh yes, I forgot Ulug Beg, I went to Samarqand in 2005 and saw what remains of his Fakhro. When you look at his life and what he achieved he should be on the list. (I would vote for him as well.

If anyone would like to see the photos I took let me know!

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No Hoyle? No...what's the name of the lady who did all the hard graft on Cephid variables for Hubble to steal the glory? No Clyde Tombaugh? No Psychobilly?

Hmm, Newton gets my vote (especailly as my little boy is named after him!)

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Look - I only wanted 10, 'cos otherwise it'd have been ridiculous. As for many of the others people are suggesting, I personally feel that, although the efforts they have made have been crucial to the development of astronomy, those on the list are most deserving. Otherwise, we'd have to start from Aristarchus onwards, really. Can you imagine the size of the list??! Search on Wikipedia for "List of famous Astronomers", and you'll see why it has to be so harshly whittled down!

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Check out (http://stargazerslounge.com/astro-lounge/53432-if-you-could-meet-one-historical-astronomer-who-would.html) where CrowdFoundAstro started the thread that got me started on this.

Glad to see that people are joining in though - a little bit of lively debate is always nice! Also noting that Galileo seems to be getting all the glory - I'd just like to point out again that he was a trifle cheeky for trying to steal credit for the ol' refractor telescope! At least Newton came up with a brand new idea!

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My vote's for newton in his one modest moment he claimed to stand on the shoulders of giants but without his theory of gravity and laws of motion modern astronomy would have been put back centuries and not to forget his work on light and optics.

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Well personally, I'll give a toast to all those great astronomers over 1,000's of years that we'll never even know the names of.

Mayan, Chinese, Persian, Egyptian, Aztec, Inca, Thai, Burmese, Indian, etc., etc., etc.

All around the World we see ancient monuments dedicated to their work.

They seem to have been a mighty fine bunch, the lot of them. :)

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I can't believe no-one's voted for Kepler. Amazing! No Kepler = No Newtonian Mechanics, No Relativity, No dark matter. On the plus side, no-one would be searching for the Grand Unified theory either lol. Ah well. Shame I can't change my own vote really.

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Well personally, I'll give a toast to all those great astronomers over 1,000's of years that we'll never even know the names of.

Mayan, Chinese, Persian, Egyptian, Aztec, Inca, Thai, Burmese, Indian, etc., etc., etc.

All around the World we see ancient monuments dedicated to their work.

They seem to have been a mighty fine bunch, the lot of them. :hello2:

Couldn't have said it better myself, they certainly would have received my vote. :)

From the choices supplied in the poll though, i picked Kepler. :)

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I concur that Hoyle should be mentioned.

Also from a romantic perspective Sir Patrick Moore for his early work on the Moon and the caldwell Catagoue, not to mention the coining of the summer triangle.

However if not him then certainly Sir Arthur Eddington for proving the theory of relativity.

I am sure there are others i'll think of as the evening goes on :-)

My personal vote though?

Hubble, Kepler, and Hoyle

I think these guys have between shaped how we see and view the universe today.

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