What was the main lesson of the Great Debate of 1920?
In brief, the controversy concerned the scale and makeup of the universe. Shapley argued that the universe was comprised of a single galaxy, while Curtis held that it contained many galaxies.
Who proposed the Great Debate?
Bringing the two astronomers together in a public debate was the idea of George Ellery Hale, the founder and director of the Mount Wilson Observatory. Hale talked Charles Abbot, the home secretary of the National Academy of Sciences, into organising the 1920 event.
What did Heber Curtis argue in the Great Debate?
In the debate, Shapley and Curtis truly argued over the “Scale of the Universe,” as the debate’s title suggests. Curtis argued that the Universe is composed of many galaxies like our own, which had been identified by astronomers of his time as “spiral nebulae”.
How was the Great Debate settled?
In view of his arguments against using Cepheids as distance scale indicators, it is ironic that this point was ultimately settled in his favor by Hubble’s discovery of Cepheids in the Andromeda Nebula several years after the debate. Shapley and Curtis were also wrong about some things.
Why was the Great Debate so important?
The Great Debate, also called the Shapley–Curtis Debate, was held on 26 April 1920 at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, between the astronomers Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis. It concerned the nature of so-called spiral nebulae and the size of the universe.
What was the outcome of the Great Debate?
This uncertainty played a major role in the ratification convention in Massachusetts. Finally, after long debate, a compromise (the “Massachusetts Compromise”) was reached. Massachusetts would ratify the Constitution, and in the ratifying document strongly suggest that the Constitution be amended with a bill of rights.
What were the two competing ideas about the universe in 1920?
In 1920, there were two competing ideas about the universe. One was that our Milky Way was it, and that everything we saw was in it. The other was that these spiral nebulae seen in the sky were also like our Milky Way, island universes in their own right. Two astronomers debated this controversy in that year.
How did Hubble prove that Andromeda was outside of the Milky Way?
To prove Andromeda existed outside the Milky Way, Hubble would need to measure how far away it was from Earth. All Hubble had to do was look for cepheid stars in Andromeda and make the appropriate calculations. Night after night, he took photographs of Andromeda with the enormous telescope, searching for cepheids.
What type of object did Edwin Hubble study when he viewed the Andromeda Galaxy?
In Hubble’s time, astronomers believed this object resided within our own Milky Way galaxy. Hubble used a class of variable stars called Cepheid variables to show that the Andromeda galaxy is an island of stars in space, external to our Milky Way.
What was the Great Debate about what was the outcome?
What was the Great Debate US history?
There were two sides to the Great Debate: the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists. The Federalists wanted to ratify the Constitution, the Anti-Federalists did not. One of the major issues these two parties debated concerned the inclusion of the Bill of Rights.
How did Hubble solve the Great Debate?
Edwin Hubble detects Cepheid variables in the Andromeda nebula using the new 100″ telescope on Mt Wilson. By measuring the period of the Cepheids, he calculated their absolute magnitude. From their observed apparent magnitude, he could then solve for the distance: d=285 kpc, well outside the Milky Way!
What happened at the Great Debate?
The Great Debate began on Monday 26 April 1920 at 8.15pm. One year after the event, Shapley and Curtis presented their conflicting views in the Bulletin of the National Research Council.
What was the Great Debate of 1921?
The two scientists first presented independent technical papers about “The Scale of the Universe” during the day and then took part in a joint discussion that evening. Much of the lore of the Great Debate grew out of two papers published by Shapley and by Curtis in the May 1921 issue of the Bulletin of the National Research Council.
When was the Great Debate first published?
One year after the event, Shapley and Curtis presented their conflicting views in the Bulletin of the National Research Council. In a sense, the Great Debate was thus first published in May 1921, b ut not many people know that the two articles were strongly expanded versions of the original presentations.
What was the great debate about the scale of universe?
The meeting of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington on 26 April 1920, at which Harlow Shapley of Mount Wilson and Heber D. Curtis of Lick Observatory both gave talks under the title “The Scale of the Universe”, has passed into the literature as “The Great Debate”.