Donald Howard Menzel

Donald Howard Menzel ( born April 11, 1901 in Florence, Colorado, † December 14, 1976 in Boston, Massachusetts ) was an American astronomer.

Menzel studied at the University of Denver and earned his Ph.D. then at Princeton University. He worked at the Lick Observatory until 1932 a position at Harvard University accepted. From 1954 to 1956 he was president of the American Astronomical Society.

Menzel initially worked in the field of solar research, but later turned to gaseous nebulae. In 1922, he discovered later named after him Planetary Nebula Menzel 1, 2 and Menzel Menzel 3 The basic principles of planetary nebulae, he formulated together with Lawrence Aller and James G. Baker.

He wrote, inter alia, A Field Guide to the Stars and Planets, part of the Peterson Field Guides. In addition to his scientific work Menzel was also one of the astronomers who questioned reports of alleged UFO sightings over again. He dealt with the problem in three books: Flying Saucers (1953), The World Of Flying Saucers: A Scientific Examination of a Major Myth of the Space Age (1963 ) and The UFO Enigma: The Definitive Explanation of the UFO Phenomenon (1977 ). Menzel explained in 1968 before the U.S. House Committee on Science and Astronautics, all UFO sightings could be explained by natural Phänoneme.

In 1976 he was awarded the Jules Janssen Award. After the asteroid Menzel (1967), Menzel and Menzel lunar crater was named.