Wilson, Olin, C., 1909-1994

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Olin Chaddock Wilson, Jr. (1909-1994) joined the Mount Wilson Observatory in 1931 as a research assistant and in 1936 became a staff member. Wilson was educated as an undergraduate at the University of California and in 1934 received the first Ph. D. in Astronomy awarded by the California Institute of Technology. Wilson's professional work was devoted to various phases of spectroscopy, including the stellar radial velocity program, various investigations of stellar atmospheres and interstellar material, Wolf-Rayet stars, planetary nebulae, and stellar chromospheres. By intensive analysis of the H and K lines of ionized calcium he showed that other stars besides the sun have cycles of activity. With M.K. Vainu Bappu, he found a means of determining luminosity, and thus distance, of stars from the widths of these two lines. Wilson started the HK Project, which continues to use Mt. Wilson telescopes to monitor a number of nearby stars in search of starspot cycles. He also investigated spectra of nebulae and eclipsing stars. He retired in 1974, and in 1984 he was awarded the Bruce Medal, an award for lifetime achievement in astronomy given by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.

From the description of Papers of Olin C. Wilson, 1930-1990. (Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens). WorldCat record id: 122499759

Deceased 1994.

From the description of Oral history interview with Olin C. Wilson, 1978 July 11. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 78557683

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Wilson, Olin, C., 1909-1994. Oral history interview with Olin C. Wilson, 1978 July 11. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf Wilson, Olin, C., 1909-1994. Papers of Olin C. Wilson, 1930-1990. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
creatorOf Bowen, Ira Sprague, 1898-1973. Papers of Ira Sprague Bowen, 1940-1973. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Adams, Walter S. (Walter Sydney), 1876-1956. person
associatedWith Aller, Lawrence H. (Lawrence Hugh), 1913-2003. person
associatedWith American Astronomical Society corporateBody
associatedWith Arp, Halton C. person
associatedWith Astronomical Society of the Pacific corporateBody
associatedWith Baade, Walter, 1893-1960. person
associatedWith Babcock, Horace W. person
associatedWith Birge, Raymond T. (Raymond Thayer), b. 1887. person
associatedWith Bopp, Bernard William, 1947- person
associatedWith Bowen, Ira Sprague, 1898-1973. person
associatedWith California Institute of Technology corporateBody
associatedWith Campbell, William Wallace, 1862-1938. person
associatedWith Carnegie Institution of Washington corporateBody
associatedWith DeVorkin, David H., 1944- person
associatedWith Hale Observatories. corporateBody
associatedWith Hubble, Edwin Powell, 1889-1953. person
associatedWith Kitt Peak National Observatory. corporateBody
associatedWith Kraft, Robert Paul, 1927- person
associatedWith Lick Observatory. corporateBody
associatedWith Menzel, Donald H. (Donald Howard), 1901-1976. person
associatedWith Moore, J. H. (Joseph Haines), 1878-1949. person
associatedWith Mount Wilson Observatory corporateBody
associatedWith Mount Wilson Solar Observatory. corporateBody
associatedWith Münch, Guido, 1921- person
associatedWith Shane, Charles Donald, 1895-1983. person
associatedWith Thackeray, A. D. (Andrew David) person
associatedWith United States. Office of Naval Research. corporateBody
associatedWith University of California, Berkeley. corporateBody
associatedWith Yerkes Observatory. corporateBody
associatedWith Zwicky, F. (Fritz), 1898-1974. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
California, Southern
Astronomical instruments
Astronomical observatories
Astronomical spectroscopy
Insterstellar matter
Orion Nebula
Planetary nebulae
Solar cycle
Spectrum analysis
Stellar activity
Stellar chromospheres
World War, 1939-1945


Birth 1909-01-13

Death 1994-07-13


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