Edward Emerson Barnard

Edward Emerson Barnard ( born December 16, 1857 in Nashville, Tennessee, † February 6, 1923 ) was an American astronomer. He was one of the pioneers for astrophotography, especially the Milky Way. Many of his recordings of emission and dark nebulae are unmatched to this day.

From the self-taught astronomer profession

Edward Barnard was born the son of Reuben Barnard and Elizabeth Jane born Haywood. His father died before his birth, and the son grew up in poverty. At the age of nine, he became an assistant in a photo studio and proved to be technically gifted. When he found a damaged lens on the street, so he built his first telescope and began with celestial observations.

Barnard was self-taught and could only buy 1876 5 - inch telescope; the $ 380 were half his annual earnings. Five years later he discovered his first comet. In the following years, Barnard has been so successful as a comet seeker that he was able to finance a house for himself and his young wife of the premiums, which had suspended a sponsor for ( U.S. ) comet discoveries. At a scientific meeting, he met Simon Newcomb know which motivated know the hungry young man to learn mathematics. At the same time he received a scholarship to study at Vanderbilt University, where he graduated at age 30. He was then 1888 employees at the newly decorated Lick Observatory with the then world's largest 36 - inch giant telescope.

Photographic Milky Way research

In 1892 he observed a nova and registered it first an expanding gas cloud. From this he deduced that it must be the explosion of a star. In the same year he discovered the fifth moon of Jupiter ( Amalthea ) - the first discovery of Jupiter's moon since Galileo Galilei in 1610 - and also the last such discovery by visual observation (?). Soon he made the first attempts in the sky photography.

1895 Barnard was Professor of Astronomy at the University of Chicago. Two years later he moved from academic and personal reasons for Yerkes Observatory under George Ellery Hale. There, however, the atmospheric conditions for its planned photographic Milky Way survey were not so favorable. So he tried in 1904 to obtain the means to make these recordings on Mount Wilson, where Hale was planning a solar observatory. In January 1905 the time had come: By Catherine Bruce - Double astrographs with the 10 -inch optics by John Brashear get him the first long-exposure photos (?). By late summer, he produced 480 images are of excellent quality. They were the basis for his discovery (which he has shared with Max Wolf) that certain dark regions in the Milky Way are not holes in the star veil, but rather finely divided, but extensive masses of dust that absorb the light of the underlying star. He created a catalog of such dark clouds, the Barnard catalog in the sequence.

1916 discovered Barnard 's fastest known fast runner among the fixed stars, the " Barnardschen Arrow star." This is not yet at a distance of 5.94 light years of our solar system second nearest fixed star (behind the Alpha Centauri system with 4.22 LJ ). Moreover, he discovered the large emission nebula that envelopes the Orion complex ( " Barnard's loop" ), and named after him, Barnard galaxy in the constellation Sagittarius, the nearby dwarf galaxy NGC 6822nd

Awards and honors

After E.E. Barnard are named:

  • The asteroid (819) Barnardiana ( 1916 by Max Wolf discovered )
  • The lunar crater Barnard
  • The crater Barnard on Mars
  • A region on Jupiter's moon Ganymede.