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NewsSpring 2009

Online exhibit honors astronomer Barnard

Nashville native and astronomer Edward Emerson Barnard was known as one of the greatest observational astronomers of the 19th century. He was one of the first academic superstars to emerge from Vanderbilt, and is the only person to ever receive an honorary academic degree from Vanderbilt. In 1892, he used this 36-inch telescope at the Lick Observatory in California to discover Amalthea, the fifth moon of Jupiter. He was the first to discover a new moon of Jupiter since Galileo discovered the first four in 1610.

Nashville native and astronomer Edward Emerson Barnard was known as one of the greatest observational astronomers of the 19th century. He was one of the first academic superstars to emerge from Vanderbilt, and is the only person to ever receive an honorary academic degree from Vanderbilt. In 1892, he used this 36-inch telescope at the Lick Observatory in California to discover Amalthea, the fifth moon of Jupiter. He was the first to discover a new moon of Jupiter since Galileo discovered the first four in 1610.

An online exhibit titled “Edward Emerson Barnard: Star Gazer,” features photographs, letters, publications and ephemera from the Edward Emerson Barnard Papers manuscript collection. Barnard, who was born into extreme poverty before the Civil War, rose to prominence as an astronomer and was known as the world’s greatest observer of his time. Barnard began his career at the Vanderbilt observatory in 1883 before moving on to larger observatories at the University of California and the University of Chicago. Special Collections developed the exhibit, which can be accessed at http://snipurl.com/barnard.

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photo credit: special collections

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