Pin Me

Nothing But the Facts about Edwin Hubble

written by: informationishere•edited by: RC Davison•updated: 5/4/2010

One of the most profound contributors to astrophysics and cosmology, Edwin Hubble had a very eventful life. Read more about him in this article.

  • slide 1 of 4


    Edwinhubble 1. Birth: November 20, 1889

    2. Birth Place: Marshfield, Missouri, U.S

    3. Nationality: American

    4. Father: John Powell Hubble

    5. Mother: Virginia Lee James

    6. Marriage: In 1924, he married Grace Burke-Lieb.

    7. Field: Astrophysics

    8. Academic Background: He completed the bachelor of science degree from the University of Chicago in 1910, mainly studying physics, maths and astronomy. Later, he also studied jurisprudence and took a postgraduate major in Spanish from the Oxford University. He earned his Ph.D from the University of Chicago in 1917, while doing research at their Yerkes Observatory.

    9. Post College: He taught Spanish, physics and mathematics at the New Albany high school in Indiana before taking up a staff position in California.

    10. Major Contributions: Discovery of galaxies beyond the Milky Way; Hubble's Law and expansion of the Universe; Discovery of asteroid 1373 Cincinnati; Hubble's galaxy classification and the tuning fork diagram.

    11. Awards and Honours: He was awarded the Catherine Wolfe Bruce Gold Medal in 1938; the Franklin Medal in physics in 1939; the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1940 and the Medal of Merit for outstanding contribution to ballistics research in 1946. He has a crater on the moon, an asteroid and the most powerful space telescope of the 20th century named after him.

    12. Death: September 28, 1953 at San Marino, California.

    (Top-left: Edwin Hubble.

    (Bottom-right: Hubble Space Telescope.


  • slide 2 of 4


    1. One of Hubble's most renowned discoveries was proving that the universe exists beyond the Milky Way galaxy. He made observations of cepheid variables using the Hooker Telescope at Mt.Wilson. His observations very clearly indicated that these variable stars were a part of nebulae that were too far away from the Milky Way galaxy.

    2. Hubble, along with Milton L. Humason, gave the empirical relation between the velocity and distance of distant galaxies. They had observed a rough proportionality in the data of redshifts of galaxies from various sources including their own observations. They came up with a value of 500 Km/s/Mpc which is much higher than the accepted value of about 70 Km/s/Mpc. The relation is now most commonly known as the Hubble's Law.

    3. Hubble is also known for his classification of galaxies and the tuning-fork diagram. He based his classification on the structure of galaxies and it is still the most commonly used classification for galaxies.

    4. The asteroid 1373 Cincinnati was discovered by Hubble on August 30, 1935.

    (Bottom-left: Tuning-fork diagram.

    Tuning Fork 

  • slide 3 of 4

    Interesting Facts

    1. Hubble served in the U.S army during both the world wars.

    2. After Hubble's death, no funeral was held and his wife refused to reveal anything about his body. He also did not have any children.

    3. On March 6, 2008, the US Postal Service issued a postal stamp with his picture on it.

    4. Hubble was a star forward basketball player during his time in the University of Chicago. The last HST repair mission, launched in May 2009, carries a basketball which was once used by Hubble.

  • slide 4 of 4