Paper on Edwin Hubble

This essay has a total of 588 words and 3 pages.

Edwin Hubble

Edwin Hubble was a man who changed our view of the Universe. In 1929 he showed that
galaxies are moving away from us with a speed proportional to their distance. The
explanation is simple, but revolutionary: the Universe is expanding.

Hubble was born in Missouri in 1889. His family moved to Chicago in 1898, where at High
School he was a promising, though not exceptional, pupil. He was more remarkable for his
athletic ability, breaking the Illinois State high jump record. At university too he was
an accomplished sportsman playing for the University of Chicago basketball team. He won a
Rhodes scholarship to Oxford where he studied law. It was only some time after he returned
to the US that he decided his future lay in astronomy.

In the early 1920s Hubble played a key role in establishing just what galaxies are. It was
known that some spiral nebulae (fuzzy clouds of light on the night sky) contained
individual stars, but there was no consensus as to whether these were relatively small
collections of stars within our own galaxy, the 'Milky Way' that stretches right across
the sky, or whether these could be separate galaxies, or 'island universes', as big as our
own galaxy but much further away. In 1924 Hubble measured the distance to the Andromeda
nebula, a faint patch of light with about the same apparent diameter as the moon, and
showed it was about a hundred thousand times as far away as the nearest stars. It had to
be a separate galaxy, comparable in size our own Milky Way but much further away.

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