Smithsonian Institution Archives

Fred L. Whipple Oral History Interviews, 1976

1 results in SIA.FARU9520 for "Large Orbiting X-Ray Telescope"
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Discusses Whipple's research and tenure as director of the SAO, 1955-1976, especially: the Prairie Network, established to photograph meteorites and fireballs in order to calculate their orbits; comparisons of photographic and radio data on flare stars to identify radio noise from stars; development of stellar atmosphere models in the 1960s; automated data processing at SAO for research and to publish large data sets, such as the Star Catalog; importance of rapid publication of data, such as the standard earths; refinement of observational techniques used in the STP, Prairie Network, Radio Meteor Project, Orbiting Solar Observatory, and Orbiting Astronomical Observatories; his involvement in the lunar program; a national program for astrophysics in relation to NSF and NASA; SAO's minimal involvement with the Division of Radiation; SAO research projects on Greenland micrometeorite studies, neutrino searches, and atomic clock tests of the theory of relativity; development of an observatory on Mt. Hopkins, Arizona, with "pin money"; construction of the MMT on Mt. Hopkins in 1971; decrease in national funding for astrophysics in late 1960s and effects on SAO; transfer of the central bureaus to SAO, including the International Astronomical Union telegraph service and the Center for Short-Lived Phenomena; SAO research in the sixties, including support for the space telescope project, Edward L. Fireman's high energy research on meteorites, and the radio meteor program; reminiscences of colleagues, including Craig M. Merrihue, Imre G. Izsak, and Carlton W. Tillinghast; his role in the Apollo program and reminiscences of the first lunar landing in 1969; formation of the Center for Astrophysics after Whipple's retirement in 1973; his research strategy to encourage innovative work in meteoritics, geodetics, x-ray and radio astronomy; his current research on comet theory and tektites.
Interviews