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James E. Keeler

AKA James Edward Keeler

Born: 10-Sep-1857
Birthplace: La Salle, IL
Died: 12-Aug-1900
Location of death: San Francisco, CA
Cause of death: Stroke
Remains: Buried, Allegheny Observatory, Pittsburgh, PA

Gender: Male
Religion: Christian
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Astronomer
Party Affiliation: Republican

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Composition of Saturn's rings

Working in a time when the heavens were largely uncharted, astronomer James Keeler photographed over 120,000 previously unknown nebulae and published Spectroscopic Observations of Nebulae. He worked under Samuel P. Langley at the Allegheny Observatory, later served as Director at both Allegheny and Lick Observatories, and made worldwide news when his spectroscopic studies of 1895 confirmed James Clerk Maxwell's suggestion that the rings of Saturn are not solid, but made of orbiting debris. With George Ellery Hale he founded the Astrophysical Journal. His maternal grandfather, Henry Dutton, was Governor of Connecticut from 1854-55.

Father: William Frederick Keeler (b. 1821, d. 1886)
Mother: Anna Elizabeth Dutton Keeler (m. 1846)
Wife: Cora Matthews (b. 1854, m. 1891, d. 1944, two children)
Daughter: Cora Keeler
Son: Henry Keeler (b. 1891, d. 1918)

    University: BA Physics, Johns Hopkins University (1881)
    Scholar: University of Heidelberg
    Scholar: University of Berlin
    Scholar: Allegheny Observatory, University of Pittsburgh (1881-83, 1884-86)
    Scholar: Lick Observatory, University of California at Santa Cruz (1886-91)
    Administrator: Director of Allegheny Observatory, University of Pittsburgh (1891-98)
    Administrator: Director of Lick Observatory, University of California at Santa Cruz (1898-1900)

    Henry Draper Medal 1899
    Rumford Prize 1898
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences
    American Association for the Advancement of Science
    National Academy of Sciences 1900
    Royal Astronomical Society
    Washington Academy of Sciences
    Asteroid Namesake 2261 Keeler
    English Ancestry

Author of books:
Spectroscopic Observations of Nebulae (1894)


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