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Astronomer Edwin Hubble revolutionized the field of astrophysics. His research helped prove that the universe is expanding, and he created a classification system for galaxies that has been used for several decades.
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He and Humason then published their research in 1929, theorizing that redshifts in galaxies' light emissions—which shows that galaxies are moving away from each other—move at a linear rate to the distance between them. In other words, Hubble was stating that a galaxy's redshift is twice the size as another's when it's twice as far from another galaxy. The two men's research was widely well-received.
In 1936, Hubble published The Realm of the Nebulae,
a historical and explanatory piece on his research in the field of extragalactic astronomy. Hubble worked at Mount Wilson Observatory until 1942, when he left to work at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland during World War II. For his service during the war, in 1946, Hubble received the Medal of Merit.
Hubble continued to conduct research at the Mount Wilson Observatory, as well as the Palomar Observatory in California, until he died on September 28, 1953. He had suffered a stroke that was caused by cerebral thrombosis, and was 63 years old at the time.
Hubble's work in the field of astronomy was truly revolutionary. By showing that other galaxies existed, scientists had a better idea of the concept of the size of the universe and the possibility of other planets. The classification system for galaxies that he created (now known as the Hubble sequence) has been used by other researchers for nearly a century.
Hubble's work with Humason helped bolster the then-theory that the universe was expanding—a connection that Hubble ardently denied could be made with any certainty, and published his sentiments with the help of chemist Richard Tolman in the mid-1930s. Since then, however, the expanding-universe theory has largely been accepted by scientists worldwide. Hubble's and Humason's research work also helped prove that galaxies must come from a central point of origin, and was used by some scientists to support the Big Bang Theory—one of the most popular theories on the universe's origin, which was first suggested by Georges Lemaître in 1927.
Hubble remains one of the world's most famous astronomers. In addition to receiving the Medal of Merit (1946), he is the recipient of the Franklin Medal (in physics), Legion of Merit, Bruce Medal and Gold Medal (from the Royal Astronomical Society). As a tribute to Hubble's groundbreaking work in astrophysics, NASA named its Hubble Space Telescope after Edwin Hubble. Countless university facilities, a planetarium, an asteroid and a portion of a highway in Missouri also share his name.
Hubble married Grace Burke on February 26, l924. The couple never had children.
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