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About Edward Charles Pickering
Edward Charles Pickering (July 19, 1846–February 3, 1919) was an American astronomer and physicist, brother of William Henry Pickering.
Along with Carl Vogel, Pickering discovered the first spectroscopic binary stars. He wrote Elements of Physical Manipulations (2 vol., 1873–76).
Pickering attended Boston Latin School, and received his B.S. from Harvard in 1865. Later, he served as director of Harvard College Observatory from 1877 to his death in 1919, where he made great leaps forward in the gathering of stellar spectra through the use of photography.
At Harvard, he recruited many women to work for him, including Annie Jump Cannon, Henrietta Swan Leavitt, and Antonia Maury. These women, who came to be known as "Pickering's Harem" by the scientific community, made several important discoveries at HCO. Leavitt's discovery of the period-luminosity relationship for Cepheids, published by Pickering, would prove the foundation for the modern understanding of cosmological distances.
Awards and honors
- Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1867.
- Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (1886 and 1901)
- Henry Draper Medal from the National Academy of Sciences (1888)
- Bruce Medal (1908)
Named after him
- The crater Pickering on the Moon
- The crater Pickering Mars.
- Asteroid 784 Pickeringia
(all jointly named after him and his brother William Henry Pickering)
- Pickering, EC (1912). "THE ALLEGHENY OBSERVATORY IN ITS RELATION TO ASTRONOMY.". Science 36 (927): pp. 417–421. 1912 Oct 4. Bibcode 1912Sci....36..417P. doi:10.1126/science.36.927.417. PMID
- Waterston, Charles D; Macmillan Shearer, A (July 2006). Biographical index of former fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1783-2002: Biographical Index. II. Edinburgh: The Royal Society of Edinburgh. ISBN 978-0-902198-84-5. page 735