More on Slipher and the Expanding Universe

Here’s an account of the conference I recently attended in Flagstaff, about The Origins of the Expanding Universe, by Cormac O’ Raifeartaigh ( fellow blogger, who was also there).


In an earlier post, I mentioned an upcoming  conference in Arizona to celebrate the pioneering work of the American astronomer Vesto Slipher. As mentioned previously, 2012 marks the centenary of Slipher’s observation that light from the Andromeda nebula was Doppler shifted, a finding he interpreted as evidence of a radial velocity for the nebula. By 1917, he had established that the light from many of the distant nebulae is redshifted, i.e. shifted to lower frequency than normal. This was the first  indication that the most distant objects in the sky are moving away at significant speed, and it was an important step on the way to the discovery of the expanding universe.

Vesto Melvin Slipher (1875-1969)

The conference turned out to be very informative and enjoyable, with lots of interesting presentations from astronomers, historians and science writers. It’s hard to pick out particular talks from such a great…

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4 Responses to “More on Slipher and the Expanding Universe”

  1. I will be glad to attend the conference. I have some points for your discussion.

  2. Time for another look-a-likes with Toby Stephens?

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