Henry Norris Russell

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Russell, Henry Norris


Born Oct. 25, 1877, in Oyster Bay, New York; died Feb. 18, 1957, in Princeton. American astronomer.

Russell graduated in 1900 from Princeton University, where he was a professor in the period 1911–47. From 1912 to 1947 he was director of the astronomical observatory at Princeton University. Russell was the author of works on astrophysics, stellar astronomy, and cosmogony. His most important works dealt with the classification of stars, the determination of stellar masses and stellar parallaxes, the calculation of the orbits of binary stars, in particular eclipsing variable stars, the application of ionization theory to astronomical phenomena, and the determination of the brightness and albedo of the planets. Russell established the relationship between the luminosity of stars and their spectral class. He originated one of the first hypotheses regarding stellar evolution.


Determinations of Stellar Parallax. Washington, D.C., 1911.
The Masses of the Stars. Chicago, 1940.
In Russian translation:
Astronomiia, vols. 1–2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1934–1935. (With R. S. Dugan and J. Q. Stewart.)
Solnechnaia sistema i eeproiskhozhdenie. Moscow-Leningrad, 1944.
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Soon Henry Norris Russell [67] surpassed Unsold in his analysis of solar spectral lines and provided a detailed compositional analysis of the Sun.
For a small one, I liked "Alfred North Russell," a cute twist on Henry Norris Russell, one of the giants of 20th-century astronomy.
To help students to remember the new scheme, astronomer Henry Norris Russell coined the mnemonic "Oh Be A Fine Girl, Kiss Me
HENRY NORRIS RUSSELL CERTAINLY deserves the accolade implied in the subtitle of David DeVorkin's book, and it is in some ways a scandal that we have had to wait nearly a half century after Russell's death for a biography.