Edwin Hubble: The 2 Things That Made Him So Famous

BornNovember 20th, 1889
DiedSeptember 28th, 1953
Famous Quote“The History of astronomy is a history of receding horizons.”
Known ForDiscovering other galaxies, universe is expanding
Region of WorldUnited States, 19th and early 20th century

Edwin Hubble today is one of the most famous scientists who has ever lived. He is up there with other notable names such as Issac Newton and Albert Einstein.

What made Edwin Hubble so famous was his two major discoveries. First, that there are trillions of other galaxies in the universe besides our own. Second, that further away objects appear red and that our universe is expanding.

These two discoveries forever cemented Edwin Hubble as one of the most famous scientists. He was never awarded the Nobel prize as there was no category for astronomy in the early 20th century.

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Without further ado, here are the 2 things that made Edwin Hubble so famous.

Discovering Other Galaxies In The Universe

Before Edwin Hubble everyone believed that the Milky Way galaxy was the only one in our universe.

This was due to the limiting power of telescopes during the 19th and early 20th century. However, in 1919 the Hooker Telescope in California was finished. In 1919 this was the world’s most advanced and largest telescope.

Astronomers from around the world flocked to look through the 100 ft telescope. This included Edwin Hubble.

Hubble would spend several days looking through the telescopes at the furthest objects. What he found forever changed the world and resulted in him becoming famous.

Edwin Hubble discovered that several of the furthest objects were significantly further away than previously thought. In fact they were so far that it was impossible that they were part of the Milky Way galaxy.

Coming to the conclusion that there were more galaxies in the universe Edwin Hubble would publish his findings and receive both international acclaim and critique.

Several of his older colleagues believed his observations to be faulty. However the scientific community at large decided to award him $500 from the Burton E. Livingston award.

However, this discovery made Edwin Hubble the father of modern astronomy. For the first time in history astronomy became the cool subject as Edwin Hubble opened up the skies for discovery.

Today we know of Edwin Hubble’s fame because roads, schools, and major telescopes are named after him. The reason for this is that Hubble opened up the field of astronomy for modern scientists to study.

As a result Edwin Hubble’s fame has only grown since his death in 1953. In the coming decades Edwin Hubble might become the most famous astronomer to have ever lived.

Edwin Hubble Discovered The “Redshift” That The Universe Is Expanding

It was one thing to discover that there are trillions of other galaxies in the universe. It’s something completely different to create a new universal law much like Newton’s three laws of motion.

Edwin Hubble created what is now called “Hubble’s Law.” This law states that objects that are further away from us appear to be moving further away from us at ever increasing speeds.

Simply put, imagine a box explodes in a vacuum. Each piece of the box goes in a different direction at ever increasing speeds. That is our universe.

Edwin Hubble found out that our universe is expanding at an ever increasing rate. Our universe is no longer finite and constricted but rather is expanding in size at an increasing rate.

In order to prove this Edwin Hubble noticed that objects at the furthest distances of our observable universe were emitting a red glow. The further this object was away from us the dimmer that red glow would become. If the object was moving close to us it would emit an ever brighter light.

This is called the “redshift.” This redshift is still used today in astronomy labs around the world to figure out how far objects are from us.

This discovery that the universe is ever expanding at an ever increasing speed made Edwin Hubble an overnight celebrity. Today he remains one of the most famous astronomers due to this discovery.

Edwin Hubble’s discoveries helped to open the world to the study of the cosmos. Where Albert Einstein had formulated time and gravity, Edwin Hubble had demonstrated that our Universe was not finite but rather infinite.

Edwin Hubble’s Fame Today

Edwin Hubble remains one of the most famous astronomers in history. The reason is because he discovered that the universe is significantly larger than previously thought.

In doing so Hubble revitalized the field of astronomy. Before Hubble Astronomy as a field of study was largely regulated to the realm of Physics. It depended less on observation and more upon theory and math.

Today the imaging capabilities of modern telescopes have exploded. This has thrusted the field of astronomy into the modern day.

This all started because of Edwin Hubble reinvigorating the field as a whole. That is one of the main reasons he is so famous today.

Some of Edwin Hubble’s influences can be seen in the following list.

  • Carl Sagen’s Cosmos: A Personal Voyage spent an entire episode covering his influence.
  • Asteroid 2069 was named after him.
  • A crater on the moon was named after him.
  • The Hubble Space Telescope is named after him.
  • In 2008 the U.S released a commemorative stamp in his honor.

Today the impact of Hubble upon society is felt within the fields of astronomy, physics, and mathematics. However this influence is growing along with his fame.

It remains to be seen but Edwin Hubble has become one of the most famous scientists in history already.

Conclusion

There you have it; an entire article that goes over the 2 things that made Edwin Hubble famous.

Edwin Hubble would die in 1953 from a blood clot in his brain after suffering a near fatal heart attack while on vacation with his wife in Colorado.

Today we can now look at the stars with both wonder and amazement knowing full well that others may be doing the same thing. This is because of Hubble discovering that the universe is expanding and that other galaxies exist.

Here at The History Ace I strive to publish the best history articles on the internet. If you liked this article then consider subscribing to the newsletter and sharing around the web.

Further, you can check out some of the other articles below. 

Sincerely,

Nick