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GEORGE ELLERY HALE
GEORGE ELLERY HALE
USA (1868 - 1938)
George Ellery Hale was an American solar astronomer, born in Chicago. He was educated at MIT, at the Observatory of Harvard College, (1889-90), and at Berlin (1893-94). As an undergraduate at MIT, he invented the spectroheliograph, with which he made his discoveries of the solar vortices and magnetic fields of sun spots.
 

Enjoy these insightful and educational video clips drawn from over 70 hours of interviews with the world's leading figures in astronomy, shot during the filming of 400 Years of the Telescope.

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Taft E. Armandroff

Astronomy and IYA
Taft E. Armandroff - W. M. Keck Observatory

I think the public is becoming more and more interested in our work. I can see it over my career very easily, never mind over the four hundred years of astronomy.

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Gibor Basri

Advocating more planets
Gibor Basri - University of California, Berkeley

If Pluto is a planet, then several other objects that have been found out in the Kuiper Belt where Pluto orbits which are as big as Pluto, maybe a little bigger, maybe a little smaller, should also be planets.

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Gibor Basri

My science hero: Albert Einstein
Gibor Basri - University of California, Berkeley

My hero in science, like a lot of people is Albert Einstein. I think I just admire the way that he was able to do so much himself working as a single person rather than as a big team and also the way he completely changed our conception of very basic things like space and time.

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Gibor Basri

Brown dwarves
Gibor Basri - University of California, Berkeley

So nature makes stars. We know that. We knew that it made planets in our solar system but we didnít know for a fact that it made planets any where else, although as I said, we had all of this evidence that it probably did. And then thereís the possibility of making objects that are in between stars and planets. These are called brown dwarves.

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Gibor Basri

What is a planet?
Gibor Basri - University of California, Berkeley

The word "planet" is actually defined in several different arenas which unfortunately donít have much to do with each other and thatís part of the reason that this is a confusing argument.

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Gibor Basri

Extrasolar planets
Gibor Basri - University of California, Berkeley

Extra solar planets, planets around other stars, were not known until about 15 years ago. But before that we actually had a pretty good idea how planets formed.

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Gibor Basri

Is Pluto a planet?
Gibor Basri - University of California, Berkeley

The question is, is Pluto a planet? How small can something be and still be a planet? Then there were arguments at the upper end which was how massive can I make a planet before it becomes a brown dwarf. This has been a very interesting debate in the astronomical community.

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Gibor Basri

Disks of dust
Gibor Basri - University of California, Berkeley

The exciting discovery was that the young stars like the stars I was studying showed up as being very little dimmed by dust and yet they had a big infrared excess around them so there was a lot of dust there and really the only way that could work is if that dust was concentrated in a plane.

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Gibor Basri

Galileo and Copernicus on planets
Gibor Basri - University of California, Berkeley

The definition of planet has undergone big changes in the past. The earth was not a planet until Copernicus and Galileo came along.

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Gibor Basri

Proprietary disk recognition
Gibor Basri - University of California, Berkeley

The trick astronomers were able to use to tell that the dust was actually in a disk form rather than a cloud form is that if you surround a star with a cloud of dust that dust will actually absorb some of the visible light from the star and make it look dimmer and redder than it would otherwise look.

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