George Ellery Hale (June 29, 1868 – February 21, 1938) 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.
Read Robert Aitken's comments about George Hale when he was presented with the Bruce Gold Medal, free from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. In 1890 he was appointed director of the Kenwood Astrophysical Observatory; he was professor of Astrophysics at Beloit College (1891-93; associate professor at the University of Chicago until 1897, and full professor (1897-1905). He was coeditor of Astronomy and Astrophysics in 1892-95 and after 1895 editor of the Astrophysical Journal.
He helped found a number of observatories, including Yerkes Observatory and Mount Wilson Observatory. At Mount Wilson, he hired and encouraged Harlow Shapley and Edwin Hubble and did a great deal of fundraising, planning, organizing and promotion of astronomical institutions, societies and journals. Hale also played a central role in the development of Pasadena's California Institute of Technology (Caltech) into a leading research university, and in the building of the Palomar Observatory.
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