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SIR JOHN HERSCHEL
SIR JOHN HERSCHEL
Berkshire, England (1792 - 1871)
Sir John Frederick William Herschel was an English mathematician, astronomer, chemist, experimental photographer and inventor. The son of astronomer Sir William Herschel, he originated the use of the Julian day system in astronomy. He named seven moons of Saturn and four moons of Uranus.
 

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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Gibor Basri

Stellar and planet formation
Gibor Basri - University of California, Berkeley

So if you lived in one of these systems near the star, you would get essentially the same kind of thing that we have here in our own solar system. That is to say the region of sky where planets would form would be in a band in the sky just like all our planets move in a band around our sun. And because these disks form along with the star, the whole cloud that makes both the star and the disk collapses together so everything’s moving in the same direction.

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Gibor Basri

Why I became an astronomer
Gibor Basri - University of California, Berkeley

Like many astronomers, I think I got interested in astronomy as a kid. I can remember being very interested by the time I was 7 or 8 years old.

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Steven Beckwith

After the Hubble repairs
Steven Beckwith - Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI

I think frankly a lesson for us is, Hubble was not just designed to be fixed in space, but it was designed to be improved. So the same astronauts that went up and fixed it could go up and could swap instruments out, and improve it.

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Steven Beckwith

My astronomical hero
Steven Beckwith - Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI

There are so many, I couldn’t pick just one. I could mention some names, obviously Galileo was a tremendous inspiration to us all, as was Hubble...

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Steven Beckwith

Instrumentation: Detectors
Steven Beckwith - Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI

Nowadays we can create detectors, which can capture essentially all of the light falling on them and record it, which is an enormous advance.

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Steven Beckwith

How I became an astronomer
Steven Beckwith - Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI

It’s a little bit of an accident. I loved astronomy as a kid. I had a telescope, and then I made a telescope, my father actually got me started and got me a kit...

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Steven Beckwith

Hubble and the general public
Steven Beckwith - Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI

Hubble, frankly, didn’t belong to the astronomers at that point. It was publicly funded, yes, we use it for research, yes, it is great, it is the greatest of these instruments, but really we had been so successful in engaging the public in this mission that everybody thought they owned it and they couldn’t understand why it was going to be taken away from them.

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Steven Beckwith

IYA Greeting
Steven Beckwith - Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI

Astronomy is part of the human consciousness or awareness that’s we’re in something bigger than just ourselves.

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Steven Beckwith

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)
Steven Beckwith - Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI

First of all, we know we can predict with very good – we believe we can predict certain discoveries that should be made which will be tremendously exciting, if we can build the technology. In the case of the James Webb, it’s designed to be able to look back beyond the beginning of galaxies.

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Steven Beckwith

The Hubble launch
Steven Beckwith - Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI

Imagine putting a rather heavy school bus in orbit, and then being able, once it’s in orbit, to point it anywhere in the sky to a tiny fraction of a second of arc, and stabilize it for an hour as it’s whizzing around, or more as it’s whizzing around the earth at 17,000 miles an hour. That was a remarkable technological feat.

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