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Astro*Dictionary by Michael Erlewine





1 article for "Huggins"

Huggins, Sir William [Astro*Index]

(1824-1910) English astronomer. Born and died at London.

He applied the Doppler-Fizeau shift to the spectra of stars. If a star was moving away from the Earth, its spectral lines would be shifted toward the red end of the spectrum; if moving toward the Earth, the lines would move toward the blue end. In 1868, he found a red shift in one of the hydrogen lines of the spectrum of Sirius. This discovery was of fundamental importance to astronomy; it provided a method by which the radial velocity of a star could be determined. Previously, only the proper motion across the line-of-sight could be measured. Studies of the radial velocities of stars have led us to an understanding of the structure of the universe.

See also:
♦ Light Spectrum ♦ Doppler Effect


Astro*Index Copyright © 1997 Michael Erlewine