Cosmic Times

The Minds atop Mount Wilson

The primary message of this article is that the story of science is as much about the scientists involved as it is about the science itself. The stories of Hubble and Humason show that there are many different roads to a science career.

The story of science is as much about the scientists involved as it is about the science itself. These two brief biographies highlight the unusual lives of two of the astronomers who helped to shape our understanding of the Universe in the early 20th century.

Edwin Hubble was a PhD astronomer with a wide range of interests from Roman law to water polo to astronomy. Milton Humason, on the other hand, dropped out of school when he was in eighth grade. Yet, both of these men have their names connected to one of the seminal discoveries about our Universe – the Universe is expanding.

There are lots of interesting characters in science, from the well known to the unknown, from Einstein to the women computers in "Pickering's Harem". We encourage you and your students to learn more about some of the "unsung" scientists with the Unsung Heroes of Science lesson plan.

A service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA/GSFC