Astronomy and the Struve Family


    ON the occasion of the award of the 1944 Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society to Prof. Otto Struve, the president of the Society, Prof. E. A. Milne, reviewed the astronomical work of the Struves, which has been recognized by four awards of the Gold Medal to the family in 118 years—once in each generation (Mon. Not. Boy. Astr. Soc., 104, 112; 1944). Wilhelm Struve, founder of the Pulkovo Observatory, received the Gold Medal in 1826 for his work in discovering and measuring double stars. His son, an earlier Otto Struve, was awarded it in 1850 for a paper on "The Determination of the Constant of Precession with respect to the Proper Motion of the Solar System". The third medallist was Hermann Struve, uncle of the present holder, who gained the award in 1903 for his monumental work on the satellites of Saturn. This year's award goes to Prof. Otto Struve, director of the Yerkes and McDonald Observatories, and great-grandson of "Wilhelm, for his observation and interpretation of the spectra of stars and nebulae. Prof. Milne reviewed this work in some detail, and pointed out that the present medallist has followed the family tradition in founding a new observatory, and has exceeded it in directing not merely one but simultaneously two great observatories. In his power of execution of new projects, in the width and generality of the problems he has selected and attacked, and in the brilliance of his solution of these problems, said Prof. Milne, Obto Struve has worthily carried the family fame in a new branch of astronomy to a new continent, and made good.

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    Astronomy and the Struve Family. Nature 154, 206 (1944).

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