Tuesday, February 3, 2009


American astrophysicist, known for his researches on solar and stellar radiation, especially for his determination of the value of the solar constant, the rate at which a surface receives heat energy from the sun. In 1895 he was appointed assistant at the Smithsonian Institutions, Washington, D.C., and in 1907 director of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, a post that he held until 1944, when he became research associate. Under his directorship the Smithsonian Institution organized widely scattered observatories for the study of solar radiation and the absorptive effects of the earth's atmosphere on this radiation.

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