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Jesse L. Greenstein

AKA Jesse Leonard Greenstein

Born: 15-Oct-1909
Birthplace: New York City
Died: 21-Oct-2002
Location of death: Arcadia, CA
Cause of death: Illness

Gender: Male
Religion: Jewish
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Astronomer

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Co-Discoverer of quasars

Inspired to science after being given a toy telescope when he was eight years old, astronomer Jesse L. Greenstein later studied under Bart Jan Bok and Otto Wilhelm Struve, and founded the graduate program in astronomy at California Institute of Technology. He investigated the effects of interstellar dust and the elements present in stars, and proved that that stars in globular clusters have fewer heavy elements and thus predate the Sun. With Maarten Schmidt he was the first to correctly describe the nature of quasars, with Fred Whipple he discovered cosmic radio noise emanating from the galactic nuclear bulge, and with Louis Henyey he designed and constructed a wide-view camera for better astronomical observations.

Father: Maurice Greenstein (furniture-maker)
Mother: Leah Feingold Greenstein
Wife: Naomi Kitay Greenstein ("Kitty", dated 1926-34, m. 1934, d. 2001, two children)
Son: George Greenstein (astronomer, b. circa 1940)
Son: Peter Greenstein (jazz saxophonist, b. circa 1946)

    High School: Horace Mann School, Riverdale, NY (1924)
    University: BS, Harvard University (1928)
    University: MS, Harvard University (1930)
    University: PhD, Harvard University (1937)
    Scholar: Harvard College Observatory, Harvard University (1932-37)
    Scholar: Yerkes Observatory, University of Chicago (1937-48)
    Professor: Astronomy, California Institute of Technology (1948-72)
    Scholar: Palomar Observatory, California Institute of Technology (1948-79)

    Royal Astronomical Society Gold Medal 1975 (with Ernst J. Ípik)
    Bruce Medal 1971
    American Astronomical Society
    National Academy of Sciences 1957
    National Research Council
    Royal Astronomical Society
    Polish Ancestry
    Russian Ancestry
    Asteroid Namesake 4612 Greenstein

Author of books:
Stellar Atmospheres (1961)

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