Carpenter, Edwin Francis, 1898-1963.

Alternative names
Birth 1898
Death 1963

Biographical notes:

Astronomer. Faculty member of University of Arizona from 1925, and director of Steward Observatory, 1938-1963.

From the description of Papers. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 84317686

Biographical note: Astronomer, director of the Steward Observatory and head of the astronomy department at the University of Arizona; Carpenter arrived in Arizona in 1925 to teach astronomy at the University.

From the description of Carpenter photograph collection, 1925-1929. (Arizona Historical Society, Southern Arizona Division). WorldCat record id: 48219700

Professor, head of The University of Arizona Astronomy Department, and director of the Steward Observatory.

From the description of Papers of Edwin Francis Carpenter, 1917-1963 (bulk 1930-1960). (University of Arizona). WorldCat record id: 41557914

Born on 1 November 1898 in Boston, Massachusetts, Edwin Carpenter received the A.B. and A.M. degrees from Harvard and the Ph. D. from the University of California at Berkeley (1925). He began his teaching duties at the University of Arizona that year, and became head of the Astronomy Department (1936), director of Steward Observatory (1938), a member at large of the board of directors of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA).

His career brought considerable attention to The University of Arizona, and raised the research and instructional levels of its astronomy and observation programs. Mr. Carpenter’s research included investigations of characteristics of galaxies, the death of stars through supernovae, and white dwarf stars. He was active in campus affairs, and served as local president for several organizations, including the American Association of University Professors and Society of Sigma Xi. Nationally, he was vice-president and chairman of the Astronomical Divisions of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and council member of the American Astronomical Society. He published widely, and received support for his work from the National Science Foundation, National Academy of Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society of Philadelphia. He died on 11 February 1963 at Tucson. He had nearly completed the two-year undertaking of relocating Steward Observatory’s 36 inch reflector to the new site at Kitt Peak National Observatory. He was survived by his wife, Ethel, and children Roger and Emily.

From the guide to the Edwin Francis Carpenter papers, 1917-1963, (University of Arizona Libraries, Special Collections)


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  • Astronomical observatories
  • Astronomical observatories--Construction
  • Astronomers--Biographies


  • Astronomers


  • Catalina Foothills area (Tucson, Ariz.) (as recorded)
  • Arizona (as recorded)
  • Santa Catalina Mountains (Ariz.) (as recorded)
  • Huachuca Mountains (Ariz.) (as recorded)
  • Salt River (Ariz.) (as recorded)