30 Dec '13, 7pm

December 30th, 1924: the day the world learned that the Milky Way was not alone:

December 30th, 1924: the day the world learned that the Milky Way was not alone:

In 1924, American astronomer Edwin Hubble changed our understanding of the universe when he introduced the existence of other galaxies beyond the Milky Way Galaxy. Until then, the Milky Way was thought to be the entire universe. In the early 1920s Hubble was using Mount Wilson Observatory's new 100-inch Hooker Telescope, the largest of its time, to study spiral nebulae when he identified Cepheid variable stars, giant stars that vary in brightness over time. He used Henrietta Leavitt's formula to calculate the distance of these new stars using their true and apparent brightness, and realized they were 860,000 light years away, 8× farther than the most distant stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. Hubble photographed the Andromeda nebula (see a photo below), which he estimated to be as large and hold as much matter as the Milky Way, and could contain three to four billion stars tha...

Full article: http://www.edn.com/electronics-blogs/edn-moments/4426388/...

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