Menzel, Donald Howard

Menzel, Donald Howard,

1901–76, American astrophysicist, b. Florence, Colo. From 1926 to 1932 he was with the Lick ObservatoryLick Observatory,
astronomical observatory located on Mt. Hamilton, Calif., near San Jose; the first mountaintop observatory in the world, it was founded through gifts made by James Lick in 1874–75 and came under the direction of the Univ.
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 in Calif. In 1932 he joined the faculty at Harvard, where he became professor (1938) of astrophysics and director (1954) of the observatory. An authority on the sun's chromosphere, he discovered with J. C. Boyce (1933) that the sun's corona contains oxygen. With W. W. Salisbury he made (1941) the first of the calculations that led to radio contact with the moon in 1946.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Menzel, Donald Howard


Born Mar. 11, 1901, in Florence, Colo. American astrophysicist.

Menzel graduated from the University of Denver in 1920 and in 1938 became a professor at Harvard University. From 1952 to 1966 he was director of the Harvard Observatory. His research centered on the physical conditions and processes in the atmospheres of the sun and stars and in gaseous galactic nebulae and on the sources of stellar energy, the physics of the planets, extragalactic astronomy, problems associated with the expansion of the universe, and the abundance of chemical elements in the universe.


Story of the Starry Universe. No place, 1941.
Fundamental Formulas of Physics. New York, 1955.
Mathematical Physics. New York, 1961.
A Field Guide to the Stars and Planets. London, 1966.
In Russian translation:
Fizicheskie protsessy v gazovykh tummanostiakh. Moscow, 1948. (Translated from English.)
O letaiushchikh tarelkakh. Moscow, 1962. (Translated from English.) Nashe Solntse. Moscow, 1963. (Translated from English.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Menzel, Donald Howard

(1901–76) astrophysicist; born in Florence, Colo. At Harvard (1932–76), he directed the Observatory (1954–66), and became an authority on the sun's chromosphere. A prolific author of such titles as Fundamental Formulas of Physics (1955), The Universe in Action (1957), A Field Guide to the Stars and Planets (1964), he wrote that flying saucers were optical illusions.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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