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baric
2009-May-29, 07:26 PM
We see the names of a lot of famous astronomers adorning many high-profile space exploration missions and projects... Hubble, Cassini, Huygens, Galileo, Kepler, etc just off the top of my head.

In your opinion, what astronomers throughout history do you think merit such an honor? I'm thinking considering people known primarily as astronomers, rather than physicists and mathematicians who may have made contributions to astronomy.

Copernicus, Chandrasekhar and Halley also come to mind. I'm sure there are dozens more.

Argos
2009-May-29, 07:34 PM
I donīt think thereīs a reason to disenfranchising physicists as homage-deserving. Astronomy, maths and physics are inextricably entangled. Astronomical predictions are done by physics-mathematics.

baric
2009-May-29, 08:25 PM
I agree. Let's ensure no one does that in this thread.

AndrewJ
2009-May-29, 09:34 PM
John Dobson, for services to popularizing astronomical observation rather than cosmology.

Amber Robot
2009-May-29, 09:37 PM
In your opinion, what astronomers throughout history do you think merit such an honor?

Maybe they're all used up already. Hence JWST. ??

ngc3314
2009-May-29, 09:50 PM
Lemme see, running off the top of my head down Big Names of Fame associated with astronomy. First the less-contentious deceased pantheon:

Hipparchus
Ptolemy* (not entirely deserving of his bad rap, I suspect)
Copernicus
Galileo
Kepler
Tycho*
Newton
Herschel (3 available)
Cassini
Huyghens
Fraunhofer*
Kirchhoff*
Maxwell*
Einstein
Chandrasekhar
Eddington (yes, those two came to mind together...)
Russell*
Hale*
Leavitt*
Cannon*
Payne-Gaposchkin*
Spitzer
Bahcall*
Zwicky*
Baade*
Whitford*
Sagan
Code*
Jansky*
Lovell*
Hoyle*

(asterisks are still available for space missions, AFAIK, although some of these have been used for catalogs or ground-based instruments)

Now, very contentiously, some still among us who might stand in the same crowd:

Sandage
Schmidt
Burbidge (if desired, pick one)
Herbig
Rubin
Osterbrock
Giacconi
Blandford
Rees

Astrophysicists seem to like waiting for big missions to bestow such an honor - we didn't see names for IUE, EUVE, FUSE, GALEX,... (Detail - FUSE was the outcome of melding two downsized missions one of which had been named Lyman). I keep amusing myself by wondering what could appropriately be named Zwicky. And what might one think of a spacecraft named Phil?

Argos
2009-May-29, 10:05 PM
John Dobson, for services to popularizing astronomical observation rather than cosmology.

And donīt forget Phil Plait and Fraser Cain. ;)

KaiYeves
2009-May-30, 11:32 PM
"Sagan" isn't free to be used for a mission?

ngc3314
2009-May-31, 12:15 AM
"Sagan" isn't free to be used for a mission?

The Mars Pathfinder landing stage was renamed the Sagan Memorial Station after the landing. This was shortly after Sagan's death, so it was fresh in the Mars community's minds. From one point of view, kind of a waste of a minor mission on a name any people would like to see commemorated in a much splashier way. (But then again, we'll probably have to reuse some names eventually anyway).

Ari Jokimaki
2009-May-31, 05:17 AM
I'm no specialist in Russian (or Soviet Union it was then) astronomers, but I think we should have long list from there as well, here's couple:
Vorontsov-Velyaminov
Karachentsev

Some other names not yet mentioned:

de Vaucouleurs
Slipher
Humason
and Keel of course ;)

Well, I guess the list should go on and on, because they all deserve a recognition (at least in my book).

KaiYeves
2009-May-31, 01:42 PM
The Mars Pathfinder landing stage was renamed the Sagan Memorial Station after the landing. This was shortly after Sagan's death, so it was fresh in the Mars community's minds. From one point of view, kind of a waste of a minor mission on a name any people would like to see commemorated in a much splashier way. (But then again, we'll probably have to reuse some names eventually anyway).
Oh yes, that's right, I forgot.

ngc3314
2009-May-31, 06:08 PM
I'm no specialist in Russian (or Soviet Union it was then) astronomers, but I think we should have long list from there as well, here's couple:
Vorontsov-Velyaminov
Karachentsev


What was I thinking? Pretend for a moment that Igor Karachentsev wasn't instrumental in getting me the chance to observe at the 6-m Bol'shoi Teleskop Azimutal'nyi, and that I didn't translate his book on binary galaxies.

Thank you.

More seriously, I think of the major Soviet astrophysicists as the theoreticians - Shklovskii, Linde, Sunyaev and Zel'dovich, Sakharov practically in his spare time, and maybe even Landau and Lif****z from whom more of us may have learned our graduate physics in the West than did in the USSR. The USSR wasn't big on naming missions for people. I can imagine politically expedient reasons for this, but for whatever reason, they did adopt the happy practice of finding actual names for spacecraft (often including satellites) that weren't just mangled TLAs. Astron, Glazar, Orion, Alma, Kvant, Granat. (However, they did bring us the 10-m cosmic radio telescope KRT-10, and early on the internal and external designations were so different that one can find research papers where the authors were not to clear on whether they should call the device Kosmos 51 or 53).

Hmm. Keel. Mostly amusing for the potential annoyance value for some people. Maybe it could be Latinized to Carina and still sound plausible...

How about a two-element interferometer with components named Sandage and de Vaucoulers? Interference between the two would be virtually guaranteed :)

Jerry Nelson (of Keck segment fame) would be great for a terribly complicated and miraculously functional device. Gunn. Did I forget Jim Gunn???

If most of us are wrong about gravity, one of these days Milgrom would be a shoe-in.

peteshimmon
2009-May-31, 08:21 PM
I do not think anyone can surpass Herblock
with his tribute to Einstein on his passing
in 1955.

ngc3314
2009-May-31, 09:45 PM
I do not think anyone can surpass Herblock
with his tribute to Einstein on his passing
in 1955.

For those unfamiliar with this classic editorial cartoon, here (http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/swann/herblock/images/s03494u.jpg) is an image at the Library of Congress.

Nereid
2009-May-31, 10:39 PM
There are some Nobel Prize winners who may be worthy of consideration, not least because their prize came through something to do with astronomy; examples:

- Ryle
- Hewish
- Penzias
- Wilson
- Fowler
- Hulse
- Taylor
- Davis
- Koshiba
- Giacconi
- Mather
- Smoot.

Ilya
2009-May-31, 11:35 PM
I keep amusing myself by wondering what could appropriately be named Zwicky.
Any space mission intended to study neutron stars. An X-ray telescope, most likely.

slang
2009-Jun-01, 12:26 AM
Kuiper
Oort
Bok
Snellius
De Sitter?

I'm a little biased. :)

John Jaksich
2009-Jun-01, 02:33 PM
I don't believe that I saw any of the following:

Humason
Cannon (Annie Jump Cannon)
Shapley (Harlow)
Kapteyn (Jacobus)

Although some may argue that they may not be as deserving as some of the previously mentioned names.

George
2009-Jun-01, 09:53 PM
I think this is the current status, but I may have missed one or two. The bold are my suggestions.

Aristarchus
Aristotle
Baade*
Bahcall*
Bessel
Blandford
Bok
Burbidge (if desired, pick one)
Cain, Fraser
Cannon (Annie Jump Cannon)
Cannon*
Cassini
Chandrasekhar
Code*
Copernicus
Davis
De Sitter
de Vaucouleurs
Eddington (yes, those two came to mind together...)
Einstein
Eratosthenes
Fowler
Fraunhofer*
Galileo
Giacconi
Gunn, Jim
Hale*
Herbig
Herschel, Caroline
Herschel, John
Herschel, William
Hewish
Hipparchus
Hoyle*
Hulse
Humason
Huyghens
Jansky*
Kapteyn (Jacobus
Karachentsev
Keel, William: astronomer, heliochromologist, educator
Kepler
Kirchhoff*
Kirshner, Robert
Koshiba
Kuiper
Leavitt*
Linde
Lovell*
Mather
Maunder
Maxwell*
Nelson, Jerry
Newton
Oort
Osterbrock
Payne-Gaposchkin*
Penzias
Perlumutter, Saul
Plait, Phil
Ptolemy
Rees
Rubin
Russell*
Ryle
Sagan
Sagan
Sakharov
Sandage
Schmidt
Shapley (Harlow)
Shklovskii
Slipher
Smoot.
Snellius
Spitzer
Sunyaev
Taylor
Tycho*
Vorontsov-Velyaminov
Whitford*
Wilson
Zel'dovich
Zwicky, Fritz*

ngc3314
2009-Jun-02, 12:04 AM
Herschel, #3?


Caroline!

George
2009-Jun-02, 01:01 AM
Caroline!Ah, yes. I was expecting John's son or something. Caroline was quite the aid and discovered 8 comets, along with cataloging nebulae.

AndrewJ
2009-Jun-02, 05:07 AM
Patrick Moore deserves an ESA project. The Russians used his Moon maps, you know...

parejkoj
2009-Jun-03, 04:57 AM
How about Carolyn Porco? She's certainly done a lot for planetary science and is a great "public astronomer."

I suppose I'm a bit biased, but Meg Urry is a powerful figure in attracting and retaining underrepresented groups in astronomy and physics. Besides her not-so-small contributions to astrophysics...

I'd say Hans Bethe's work on stellar physics was rather important.

I think Zwicky would have to go to a mission that studies heated outflows......

(And yes, Bill, you did forget Jim Gunn! How could you?)

George
2009-Jun-03, 06:24 PM
I think Zwicky would have to go to a mission that studies heated outflows...... Are there any spherical ones planned?

Ilya
2009-Jun-09, 06:28 PM
Do thet have to be already dead?

If not, then my suggestions are:

David Jewitt
Jane Luu
Mike Brown

matthewota
2009-Jun-09, 10:15 PM
Astronomers were more famous in the 1920s, the time of Hubble, Shapley et.al.

They were just as famous then as pop stars are today.

In the public eye, a typical layperson would find it difficult to name any astronomers at all...and if so they would mention Carl Sagan.

AndrewJ
2009-Jun-18, 03:37 PM
In the public eye, a typical layperson would find it difficult to name any astronomers at all...and if so they would mention Carl Sagan.

Only in North America. I'd never heard of him before I moved to Canada - but then I used to live in fuggy, bronchial cities where stargazing was never an option.

KaiYeves
2009-Jun-19, 07:12 PM
Adults maybe, I'm the only kid I know who would know who he was.

dwnielsen
2009-Jun-21, 06:35 PM
Hooke was so much an astronomer, and his ideas essential in so many ways. Rydberg seems a physicist hard to ignore in any astro. Roche, Biruni. All have monuments already, though - but for some completeness.