Cornelis Johannes van Houten

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Cornelis Johannes van Houten (born February 18, 1920 in The Hague ; † August 24, 2002 ) was a Dutch astronomer . Sometimes his name is also given in the literature as Kees van Houten .


With the exception of a short time as an assistant at the Yerkes Observatory in the USA (1954 to 1956), van Houten spent his entire professional career at the University of Leiden .

As a result of the Second World War , he had to interrupt his studies and was only able to do his doctorate in 1952 .

He married the astronomer Ingrid Groeneveld (who took the name Ingrid van Houten-Groeneveld ). Their son Karel emerged from the marriage.

Van Houten, his wife and the astronomer Tom Gehrels formed a very successful scientific trio that discovered a total of 4,329 asteroids as part of the Palomar-Leiden Survey . Gehrels made extensive images of the sky with the 48 " - Schmidt camera of the Mount Palomar Observatory in the United States. The photographic plates were shipped to the Netherlands and analyzed at the University of Leiden for the determination of asteroids. The statistical distribution of their orbits revealed that asteroids orbit the sun in groups.

Van Houten also studied the radial velocities of close binary stars .

Until his death, he published articles on asteroids and eclipsing binary stars. The asteroid (1673) van Houten was named after him.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Minor Planet Center