Edwin Hubble Timeline
Timeline Description: Edwin Powell Hubble was considered one of the world's greatest modern astronomers. By carefully photographing and analyzing thousands of pieces of data, he was able to prove that there are numerous galaxies beyond our own.

Date Event
November 20, 1889 Edwin Hubble is born (November 20, 1889).

Edwin Hubble is born to John and Virginia Lee Hubble in Marshfield, Missouri on November 20, 1889. He was the 3rd of 8 children.
November 1897 A first glimpse (November 1897).

Hubble's grandfather, Dr. William James, sets up a telescope at his house. For his 8th birthday, Hubble asks to spend all night watching the stars through the telescope. He is granted his requested, and wearing a warm sweater and scarf, he gazes through the lens until dawn, fascinated with all he sees.
1901 On the move (Around 1901).

When Hubble is 12 -years-old, his father moves the family to Wheaton, Illinois. Hubble writes a letter to his grandfather discussing the possibility of life on Mars. His grandfather is so pleased with the letter, that he sends it to a newspaper in Springfield, Missouri, where it is published.
1906 Hubble's early education (Around 1898 - 1906).

Hubble loves to read, particularly Jules Verne's imaginative stories of space and exploration. He is a good student, but is a terrible speller. At 6' 2" Hubble does well in his high school basketball, track, and tennis teams. He graduates in 1906 at age 16, receiving a scholarship to the University of Chicago.
1906 College years (1906 - 1910).

Hubble studies mathematics and astronomy at the University of Chicago. He also gets involved in boxing. When he hears that Rhodes Scholarships are offered to qualified students, he studies extra hard, and ends up winning the prestigious award to study in England for 3 years.
1910 Queen's College (1910 -1913).

Hubble uses his scholarship to attend Queen's College at Oxford University. Thinking that astronomy is only a hobby and not a potential career field, he studies law and receives a bachelor's degree at the end of his 3rd year.
1914 University of Chicago, again.

Hubble arranges to return to the University of Chicago to study astronomy. He works as an assistant at the university's Yerkes Observatory. He also is invited to join the prestigious American Astronomical Society.
1917 Job offer and war (1917 - 1919).

Hubble works on his doctoral thesis on the cloud-like objects in space known as nebulae. He receives a job offer from Dr. George Hale at the Mount Wilson Observatory in Southern California. But he declines the offer and joins the army after graduation to fight in the war in Europe.
1919 Mount Wilson Observatory

Hubble trains new troops and becomes a major. By the time he gets to Europe, the war is winding down. Returning to the United States, he heads to Mount Wilson. Dr. Hale hires him and now Hubble can use the 100-inch reflecting Hooker telescope, the biggest in the world.
1919 Nebulae discoveries (1919 - 1923).

Hubble has to take turns using the 100-inch and 60-inch telescopes. But he continues his nebulae research. At this time most astronomers think the nebulae are part of the same Milky Way galaxy. Hubble's careful research with these large telescopes shows these nebulae are really other galaxies.
1923 Spiral Nebulae.

Hubble writes up his research and publishes it as "Cepheids in Spiral Nebulae." He receives a prize from the Association for the Advancement of Science the following year.
1924 A bride and fame.

On February 26, 1924, Hubble marries Grace Burke Leib. Shortly after their marriage, an article about Hubble and his discoveries is published in the New York Times. The astronomer's fame grows. He develops a classification system and proves that the galaxies are moving further away from the earth.
1931 A visit from Albert Einstein.

Hubble's popularity allows him to meet many famous people. One man is the famous physicist Albert Einstein. Because of Hubble and another scientist's research, Einstein changes his view and now believes that the universe is expanding.
1942 World War II (1942 - 1945).

When World War II starts, Hubble is asked to direct ballistics research at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland. He studies the flight paths of missile, bullets, and other objects. He receives the Medal of Merit for his work.
1953 Death and honors (1953 - 1990).

A 200-inch telescope is being made for the Mt. Palomar Observatory. Hubble is eager to use it, but suffers a heart attack in 1949. He recovers and works on the new telescope, but he suffers a fatal stroke on September 28, 1953. In 1990 a special telescope to observe the universe is named in his honor. Edwin Hubble will always be remembered as a scientific pioneer who opened up our understanding of the vastness of the universe.






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