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George Ellery Hale
Portrait of George Ellery Hale.jpg
George Ellery Hale, c. 1913
Born (1868-06-29)June 29, 1868
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Died February 21, 1938(1938-02-21) (aged 69)
Pasadena, California, USA
Nationality American
Fields Astronomy
Alma mater MIT
Known for Spectroheliograph
Notable awards
Spouse Evelina Conklin Hale

George Ellery Hale (June 29, 1868 – February 21, 1938) was an American solar astronomer.

Biography[edit]

Hale was born in Chicago, Illinois. He was educated at MIT, at the Observatory of Harvard College, (1889–90), and at Berlin (1893–94). As an undergraduate at MIT, he is known for inventing the spectrohelioscope, with which he made his discovery of solar vortices. In 1908, he used the Zeeman effect with a modified spectrohelioscope to establish that sunspots were magnetic.[1] Subsequent work demonstrated a strong tendency for east-west alignment of magnetic polarities in sunspots, with mirror symmetry across the solar equator; and that the polarity in each hemisphere switched orientation from one sunspot cycle to the next.[2] This systematic property of sunspot magnetic fields is now commonly referred to as the "Hale-Nicholson law,"[3] or in many cases simply "Hale's law."

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, 1892–95, and after 1895 editor of the Astrophysical Journal. He also served on the board of trustees for Science Service, now known as Society for Science & the Public, from 1921-1923.

Hale was a driven individual, who worked to found a number of significant astronomical observatories, including Yerkes Observatory, Mount Wilson Observatory, Palomar Observatory, and the Hale Solar Laboratory. At Mount Wilson, he hired and encouraged Harlow Shapley and Edwin Hubble toward some of the most significant discoveries of the time. He was a prolific organizer who helped create a number of astronomical institutions, societies and journals. Hale also played a central role in developing the California Institute of Technology into a leading research university. After retiring as director at Mount Wilson, he built the Hale Solar Laboratory in Pasadena, California, as his office and workshop, pursuing his interest in the sun.[4][5]

Hale suffered from neurological and psychological problems, including insomnia, frequent headaches, and depression. The often-repeated myth of schizophrenia,[6] alleging he claimed to have regular visits from an elf who acted as his advisor, arose from a misunderstanding by one of his biographers. [7] He used to take time off to spend a few months at a sanatorium in Maine. These problems forced him to resign as director of Mount Wilson.[6]

Honors and awards[edit]

Legacy[edit]

A bust of George Ellery Hale at Palomar Observatory

Popular Culture[edit]

Fox Mulder uses the pseudonym "George E. Hale" on several occasions in the TV Series The X-Files, most notable in Season 2, Episode 1 "Little Green Men", and Season 2 Episode 4 "Sleepless".

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Hale, G. E. (1908). "On the Probable Existence of a Magnetic Field in Sun-Spots". The Astrophysical Journal 28: 315. Bibcode:1908ApJ....28..315H. doi:10.1086/141602.  edit
  2. ^ Hale, G. E.; Ellerman, F.; Nicholson, S. B.; Joy, A. H. (1919). "The Magnetic Polarity of Sun-Spots". The Astrophysical Journal 49: 153. Bibcode:1919ApJ....49..153H. doi:10.1086/142452.  edit
  3. ^ Astrophysics of the sun, Harold Zirin, Cambridge University Press, 1988, p.307; http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1988assu.book.....Z
  4. ^ "George Ellery Hale". Mount Wilson Observatory Association. Retrieved 2010-04-11. 
  5. ^ "Hale Solar Laboratory". Astronomy and Astrophysics. U.S. National Park Service. Retrieved 2010-04-11. 
  6. ^ a b Hale, George Ellery (1868-1938) - from Eric Weisstein's World of Scientific Biography. Scienceworld.wolfram.com. Retrieved on 2013-08-25.
  7. ^ Hale's "Little Elf": The Mental Breakdowns of George Ellery Hale, Sheehan, W. & Osterbrock, D. E., Journal for the History of Astronomy, xxxi (2000), p.93; http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/2000JHA....31...93S
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "The Case File: George Ellery Hale". The Franklin Institute. Retrieved March 1, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Henry Draper Medal". National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 19 February 2011. 
  10. ^ "Prix et Médailles décernés par la Société depuis sa fondation". L'Astronomie (SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System) 93: 543. 1979. Retrieved March 2, 2014. 
  11. ^ "The Arthur Noble Medal, City of Pasadena". The Caltech Archives. 1926. Retrieved March 2, 2014. 
  12. ^ Newall, pp. 522–26.
Bibliography

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Ellery_Hale — Please support Wikipedia.
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4 news items

Hometown Pasadena

Hometown Pasadena
Mon, 21 Apr 2014 00:10:54 -0700

It's no coincidence that Lamanda Park once had an elementary school named for pioneering astronomer George Ellery Hale (1868-1938). In April 1936, one component of what was to become his crowning achievement, the Hale Telescope, made its West ...
 
KCET
Fri, 04 Apr 2014 10:48:39 -0700

In 1903, an intrepid University of Chicago faculty member by the name of George Ellery Hale spent the spring of that year exploring the hills above Pasadena, known as Mount Wilson. Hale, an MIT graduate and expert in astronomy, had thought of ...
 
Hometown Pasadena
Sun, 30 Mar 2014 23:33:45 -0700

27 Where are we? What's happening? In the photo (right), Andrew Carnegie, center, walks arm-in-arm with George Ellery Hale, right, outside Mount Wilson Observatory during Carnegie's week-long visit in 1910 to see what his money had made possible.

Bloomberg

Bloomberg
Wed, 26 Mar 2014 10:56:39 -0700

The observatory was founded in the late 1800s by George Ellery Hale, who was one of the first to believe that observatories, instead of housing just a telescope and observer, should also include laboratories devoted to physics and chemistry—the result ...
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