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Paper: Henry Norris Russell and the Expanding Universe
Volume: 471, Origins of the Expanding Universe: 1912-1932
Page: 217
Authors: DeVorkin, D.
Abstract: Henry Norris Russell, one of the most influential American astronomers of the first half of the 20th Century, had a special place in his heart for the Lowell Observatory. Although privately critical of the founder for his pronouncements about life on Mars and the superiority of the Mars Hill observing site, he always supported the Observatory in public and professional circles. He staunchly supported Tombaugh's detection of a planet as leading from Lowell's prediction, and always promoted V. M. Slipher's spectroscopic investigations of planetary and stellar phenomena. But how did he react to Slipher's puzzling detection of the extreme radial velocities of spiral nebulae starting in 1912, and how did he regard the extension and interpretation of those observations by Hubble and others in following decades? Here we describe the arc of Russell's reactions, dating from Slipher's first detection, as an indicator of how mainstream stellar astronomers reacted to the concept of an expanding universe.
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