Knut Lundmark

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Knut Lundmark 1908

Knut Emil Lundmark ( pronunciation : [ ˌknʉːt ˈlɵnːdmaɹk ], born June 14, 1889 in Älvsbyn , Norrbotten County , † April 23, 1958 in Lund ) was a Swedish astronomer , and from 1929 to 1955 professor of astronomy and director of the Old Lund Observatory .

Lundmark studied astronomy at the Uppsala Observatory . His doctoral thesis, written in 1920, dealt with The relations of the globular clusters and spiral nebulae to the stellar system (the relationships between the globular clusters and the spiral nebulae to the star system, i.e. the Milky Way ). In the twenties he worked for a time at various observatories in the USA, the Lick Observatory and the Mount Wilson Observatory .

Knut Lundmark was one of the pioneers in the study of galaxies and their distances. He was one of the first to believe that galaxies are distant star systems and are comparable in size to the Milky Way .

He determined the distance of the Andromeda Nebula on the basis of the appearance of novae , the brightness of which he compared with the brightness of the novae of the Milky Way.

In the 1930s he was also active as a popular writer on astronomical subjects, and also took part in radio broadcasts. In 1954 he was one of the signatories of the document that eventually led to the creation of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in 1962 .

The lunar crater Lundmark is named after him, as is the asteroid (1334) Lundmarka . The Wolf-Lundmark-Melotte galaxy is also named after him, after Max Wolf and Philibert Jacques Melotte .

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