Friedrich Bessel

Fred Whipple and the Dirty Snowballs

Fred Whipple and the Dirty Snowballs

On August 30, 2004, American astronomer Fred Lawrence Whipple passed away. Amongst his achievements, he discovered some asteroids and comets, came up with the “dirty snowball” cometary hypothesis, and designed the Whipple shield. Fred Whipple was born on November 5, 1906, in Red Oak, Iowa, as the son of a farmer. An early bout with polio ended his ambition of being a professional tennis player. Whipple studied at Occidental College in Southern California,…
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Friedrich Bessel and the Distances of Stars

Friedrich Bessel and the Distances of Stars

Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel (1784-1846) [1] On July 22, 1784, German mathematician and astronomer Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel was born. He is probably best known for his works in mathematics, where he discovered the eponymous Bessel-functions, which are critical for the solution of certain differential equations. Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel was born in Minden, Westphalia (today Germany), as second son of a civil servant. Bessel attended the Gymnasium in Minden for four years but he did…
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