Hubble Telescope Is Named For One of America's Greatest Scientists

Have you ever wondered why the Hubble Telescope has such a weird name? It was named after the observational scientist, Edwin Hubble.

Edwin Hubble was born on November 29, 1889, in Marshfield, Missouri. He was a gifted athlete as a child and set the Illinois state record for the high jump in 1906. Hubble was admitted to the University of Chicago for his proficiency in mathematics and astronomy; Hubble also participated in basketball and boxing. He won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University in 1910 and when he returned, became a high school teacher and basketball coach. After he received a doctorate in astronomy from the University of Chicago, he accepted a job offer from Mount Wilson Observatory near Pasadena, California.

In 1923, Hubble made an incredible discovery. Up until then, it was thought that the Milky Way was the only galaxy in the universe. After long and patient observation, he found that Andromeda, originally thought to be a nebula, was also a galaxy. This discovery led scientists to realize that there are many galaxies, and the universe is much larger than was previously believed. These findings made him the most famous astronomer in the world. After World War II, Hubble finished constructing the Hale Telescope, four times more powerful than the Hooker Telescope, which was used to discover the Andromeda Galaxy.

In 1915, Albert Einstein had put forward his General Theory of Relativity. Because astronomers at that time thought the universe was static, Einstein introduced an Anti-Gravity force equation into his theory to incorporate this belief. In 1931, Hubble's studies proved Einstein’s original theory correct; he did not need to add the Anti-Gravity force equation into the General Theory of Relativity.

Hubble received many awards, including the Medal of Merit. He would have certainly been awarded the Nobel Prize for astronomy, but it was not established before his death from cerebral thrombosis in 1953, at the age of 64.

[Source: The Great Scientists]