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Confirming that Stars behave according to the Laws of Physics — A Centennial Remembrance

Presentation #102.01 in the session “HAD I: Invited Oral Session”.

Published onJan 11, 2021
Confirming that Stars behave according to the Laws of Physics — A Centennial Remembrance

In his address to the British Association in August 1920, Arthur Stanley Eddington proclaimed that “Probably the greatest need of stellar astronomy at the present day, in order to make sure our theoretical deductions are starting on the right lines, is some means of measuring the apparent angular diameters of stars.” In less than 4 months, his request was answered by astronomers at Mount Wilson working with Albert Abraham Michelson when they measured the angular diameter of Betelgeuse with the new 100-inch reflector on the evening of December 13th, 1920. How they did it is the subject of this talk. We will feature Michelson’s long journey to this end, and how he was aided and abetted by George Ellery Hale, who was a man not averse to taking big risks.


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