Edward Charles Pickering

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Pickering, Edward Charles


Born July 19, 1846, in Boston, Mass.; died Feb. 3, 1919, in Cambridge, Mass. American astronomer.

Pickering was a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1867 to 1877 and director of the Harvard Observatory from 1877 to 1917. His research was concerned chiefly with astrophotometry and stellar spectroscopy. Under his direction, a system by which stars could be classified according to their spectral characteristics was developed. With the American astronomer A. Maury, Pickering discovered the first spectroscopic binaries. He also studied variable stars.


Baily, S. F. “Biographical Memoir of Edward Charles Pickering, 1846-1919.” Biographical Memoirs, 1934, vol. 15, memoir 5. (Contains bibliography.)
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The American Association of Variable Star Observers founded by Edward Charles Pickering and William T.
In 1889 the American astronomer Edward Charles Pickering (1846-1919) noted that Mizar, the middle star in the handle of the Big Dipper, had dark lines that divided in two.