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Project Records, 1964-1968

Creator:
Radio Meteor Project (Harvard College Observatory)  Search this
Physical description:
11 cu. ft. (11 record storage boxes)
Type:
Manuscripts
Collection descriptions
Date:
1964
1964-1968
Topic:
Astrophysical observatories  Search this
Meteorites  Search this
Local number:
SIA Acc. 08-152
See more items in:
Project Records c. 1959-1971 [Radio Meteor Project (Harvard College Observatory)]
Data Source:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_281423

Project Records, 1967-1969

Creator:
Radio Meteor Project (Harvard College Observatory)  Search this
Physical description:
19.5 cu. ft. (19 record storage boxes) (1 document box)
Type:
Manuscripts
Collection descriptions
Date:
1967
1967-1969
Topic:
Astrophysical observatories  Search this
Meteorites  Search this
Local number:
SIA Acc. 08-153
See more items in:
Project Records c. 1959-1971 [Radio Meteor Project (Harvard College Observatory)]
Data Source:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_281424

Project Records, 1968

Creator:
Radio Meteor Project (Harvard College Observatory)  Search this
Physical description:
2 cu. ft. (2 record storage boxes)
Type:
Manuscripts
Collection descriptions
Date:
1968
Topic:
Astrophysical observatories  Search this
Meteorites  Search this
Local number:
SIA Acc. 08-154
See more items in:
Project Records c. 1959-1971 [Radio Meteor Project (Harvard College Observatory)]
Data Source:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_281425

Project Records, 1964-1967

Creator:
Radio Meteor Project (Harvard College Observatory)  Search this
Physical description:
22 cu. ft. (22 record storage boxes)
Type:
Manuscripts
Collection descriptions
Microfilms
Date:
1964
1964-1967
Topic:
Astrophysical observatories  Search this
Meteorites  Search this
Local number:
SIA Acc. 08-161
See more items in:
Project Records c. 1959-1971 [Radio Meteor Project (Harvard College Observatory)]
Data Source:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_281434

Fred Lawrence Whipple Papers, c. 1932-2004

Creator:
Whipple, Fred L (Fred Lawrence) 1906-2004  Search this
Subject:
Harvard University  Search this
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory  Search this
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Satellite Tracking Program  Search this
Radio Meteor Project (Harvard College Observatory)  Search this
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Meteorite Photography and Recovery Project  Search this
Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory  Search this
Multiple Mirror Telescope Observatory  Search this
University of California, Los Angeles  Search this
University of California, Berkeley  Search this
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Project Celescope  Search this
Mt. Hopkins Observatory  Search this
Harvard College Observatory  Search this
Physical description:
19.72 cu. ft. (19 record storage boxes) (2 5x8 boxes)
Type:
Manuscripts
Collection descriptions
Clippings
Color photographs
Black-and-white photographs
Place:
Moon
Date:
1932
1932-2004
c 1932-2004
Topic:
Astrophysics  Search this
Comets  Search this
Meteors  Search this
Astronomers  Search this
Astrophysicists  Search this
Asteroids  Search this
Local number:
SIA Acc. 04-183
Data Source:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_254194

Records, 1961-1973

Creator:
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Assistant Director (Science)  Search this
Subject:
Lundquist, Charles A  Search this
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Earth Albedo Project  Search this
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Hydrogen Maser Program  Search this
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Big Dish Radio Telescope  Search this
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams  Search this
Multiple Mirror Telescope Observatory  Search this
National Geodetic Satellite Program  Search this
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Satellite Tracking Program  Search this
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Star Catalogue  Search this
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Very Long Baseline Interferometer  Search this
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Earth Physics Satellite  Search this
United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration  Search this
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Project Celescope  Search this
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Gravitational Redshift Space Probe Experiment  Search this
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Meteor Research Program  Search this
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Meteor Simulation Project  Search this
Radio Meteor Project (Harvard College Observatory)  Search this
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Southwest Meteor Spectral Patrol  Search this
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Meteorite Photography and Recovery Project  Search this
Mt. Hopkins Observatory  Search this
Harvard College Observatory  Search this
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics  Search this
Physical description:
18.5 cu. ft. (18 record storage boxes) (1 document box)
Type:
Manuscripts
Collection descriptions
Color photographs
Black-and-white photographs
Black-and-white negatives
Maps
Clippings
Brochures
Date:
1961
1961-1973
Topic:
Astrophysical observatories  Search this
Local number:
SIA RU000253
See more items in:
Project Records 1961-1973 [Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Assistant Director (Science)]
National Aeronautics and Space Administration Records 1962-1973 [Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Assistant Director (Science)]
Administrative Records 1962-1973 [Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Assistant Director (Science)]
Smithsonian Files 1963-1973 [Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Assistant Director (Science)]
General Correspondence 1962-1972 [Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Assistant Director (Science)]
Organizations 1962-1973 [Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Assistant Director (Science)]
Data Source:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_216817

Records, 1956-1967

Creator:
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Assistant Director (Management)  Search this
Subject:
Drummond, Kenneth H  Search this
Harmon, Vaughan  Search this
Tillinghast, Carlton W  Search this
Whipple, Fred L (Fred Lawrence) 1906-2004  Search this
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory International Year of the Quiet Sun Comet Project  Search this
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Meteorite Photography and Recovery Project  Search this
Radio Meteor Project (Harvard College Observatory)  Search this
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Satellite Tracking Program  Search this
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Project Celescope  Search this
Table Mountain Station (California)  Search this
Physical description:
12.5 cu. ft. (25 document boxes)
Type:
Manuscripts
Collection descriptions
Date:
1956
1956-1967
Topic:
Astrophysical observatories  Search this
Local number:
SIA RU000259
See more items in:
Administrative Subject Files 1959-1973 [Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Assistant Director (Administration)]
Satellite Tracking Program: Administrative Files 1959-1967 [Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Assistant Director (Administration)]
Buildings Files 1957-1966 [Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Assistant Director (Administration)]
Satellite Tracking Program: Station Files 1957-1964 [Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Assistant Director (Administration)]
General Correspondence and Administrative Files 1957-1964 [Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Assistant Director (Administration)]
Data Source:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_216828

Project Records, c. 1959-1971

Creator:
Radio Meteor Project (Harvard College Observatory)  Search this
Subject:
Mechau, Dorik  Search this
Hagge, Carl W  Search this
Rosenthal, Harris E  Search this
Hawkins, Gerald S  Search this
Southworth, Richard B  Search this
McCrosky, Richard E  Search this
Harvard College Observatory  Search this
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory  Search this
National Science Foundation (U.S.)  Search this
United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration  Search this
University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign campus)  Search this
Physical description:
109.20 cu. ft. (86 record storage boxes) (40 tall document boxes)
Type:
Electronic records
Collection descriptions
Black-and-white negatives
Manuscripts
Black-and-white photographs
Motion pictures (visual works)
Date:
1959
1959-1971
c 1959-1971
Topic:
Meteorites  Search this
Local number:
SIA RU000304
See more items in:
Project Records c. 1959-1971 [Radio Meteor Project (Harvard College Observatory)]
Data Source:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_216873

Fred Lawrence Whipple Oral History Interviews, 1976

Interviewee:
Whipple, Fred L (Fred Lawrence) 1906-2004  Search this
Subject:
Whipple, Fred L (Fred Lawrence) 1906-2004  Search this
Stanford University  Search this
Harvard College Observatory  Search this
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Satellite Tracking Program  Search this
Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory  Search this
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Project Celescope  Search this
Multiple Mirror Telescope Observatory  Search this
Mt. Hopkins Observatory  Search this
Interviewer:
Henson, Pamela M  Search this
Physical description:
4 audiotapes (Reference copies)
Type:
Audiotapes
Collection descriptions
Transcripts
Date:
1976
Topic:
Astronomy  Search this
Astrophysics  Search this
Meteorites  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Interviews  Search this
Oral history  Search this
Local number:
SIA RU009520
Data Source:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_217688

Website Records, 2018

Creator:
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory  Search this
Uniform title:
Aesthetics and Astronomy (Website)  Search this
LIGHT: Beyond the Bulb (Website)  Search this
Subject:
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics  Search this
Harvard College Observatory  Search this
Chandra X-ray Observatory (U.S.)  Search this
United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration  Search this
SPIE (Society)  Search this
International Astronomical Union  Search this
Type:
Electronic records
Collection descriptions
Date:
2018
Topic:
Web sites  Search this
Museums--Public relations  Search this
Astrophysics  Search this
Astronomical observatories  Search this
Astronomical photography  Search this
Astronomy in art  Search this
Museum exhibits  Search this
Photonics  Search this
International Year of Light, 2015  Search this
X-ray telescopes  Search this
Local number:
SIA Acc. 19-184
See more items in:
Website Records 2007-2018 [Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory]
Data Source:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_398573

Project Records, c. 1959-1971

Creator:
Radio Meteor Project (Harvard College Observatory)  Search this
Physical description:
109.20 cu. ft. processed holdings
54.5 cu. ft. unprocessed holdings
Type:
Manuscripts
Electronic records
Black-and-white negatives
Microfilms
Date:
1959
1959-1971
c 1959-1971
Topic:
Meteorites  Search this
Astrophysical observatories  Search this
Local number:
SIA RS01480
See more items in:
Project Records c. 1959-1971 [Radio Meteor Project (Harvard College Observatory)]
Data Source:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_287138

General Correspondence and Administrative Files, 1957-1964

Creator:
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Assistant Director (Administration)  Search this
Subject:
Tillinghast, Carlton W  Search this
Harmon, Vaughan  Search this
Drummond, Kenneth H  Search this
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Satellite Tracking Program  Search this
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Project Celescope  Search this
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Meteorite Photography and Recovery Project  Search this
Radio Meteor Project (Harvard College Observatory)  Search this
Table Mountain Station (California)  Search this
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Assistant Director (Management)  Search this
Physical description:
6 cu. ft. processed holdings
Type:
Manuscripts
Black-and-white photographs
Date:
1957
1957-1964
Topic:
Research institutes  Search this
Observatories  Search this
Astronomy  Search this
Astrophysics  Search this
Local number:
SIA RS00632
See more items in:
General Correspondence and Administrative Files 1957-1964 [Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Assistant Director (Administration)]
Data Source:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_219564

Fred Lawrence Whipple Papers

Creator::
Whipple, Fred L. (Fred Lawrence), 1906-2004  Search this
Extent:
23.5 cu. ft. (23 record storage boxes) (1 document box)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Manuscripts
Place:
Moon
Date:
circa 1927-1983
Introduction:
This finding aid was digitized with funds generously provided by the Smithsonian Institution Women's Committee.
Descriptive Entry:
The papers of Fred Lawrence Whipple document his astronomical research; his professional work in the field of astronomy; his career as director of the SAO; and, to a lesser extent, his activities as a Harvard University faculty member. They include a large file of correspondence with professional colleagues, amateur astronomers, SAO staff scientists, Smithsonian Institution officials, scientific societies and professional groups, government agencies, and Harvard University staff and officials. The papers concern Whipple's research interests, scientific publications, and editorial work; SAO research projects, particularly the Satellite Tracking Program, Project Celescope, the Radio Meteor Project, and the Meteorite Photography and Recovery Project; Whipple's work for professional organizations and government agencies and committees including the International Astronomical Union, the Committee on Space Research, the Committee on Space and Astronautics of the United States House of Representatives, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Science Foundation; SAO relations with the Smithsonian Institution; and his activities at Harvard University and the Harvard College Observatory. Also included are college papers, notes, and a copy of his Ph.D. dissertation; manuscripts of articles, lectures, radio talks, reviews, and notes from his research; research notes on comets; correspondence, notes, reports, minutes and related materials from Whipple's work with professional groups and committees; files documenting the development of the MMT at Mount Hopkins, Arizona; and a set of Whipple's publications. Researchers should also consult Record Unit 9520, Fred Lawrence Whipple Interviews, 1976.
Historical Note:
Fred Lawrence Whipple (1906- ), an astronomer, received his B.A. degree from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1927, and his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1931. In 1932, he joined the staff of Harvard University as an instructor of astronomy. By 1950, Whipple had received the title of professor and chairman of the Department of Astronomy at Harvard. Whipple was appointed director of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) when it moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1955. Since his retirement in 1973, Whipple has continued his research as a senior scientist at SAO.

During his tenure as director, Whipple oversaw SAO research programs in stellar interiors, the upper atmosphere, meteorites, celestial mechanics, and geodesy studies. Major SAO projects under his direction included the Satellite Tracking Program, Project Celescope, the Radio Meteor Project, and the Meteorite Photography and Recovery Project, also known as the Prairie Network. In the late 1960s, Whipple selected Mount Hopkins, Arizona, as the site of a new SAO astronomical facility. Renamed the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory in 1981, the facility houses the Multiple-Mirror Telescope (MMT), an innovative, low-cost telescope planned by Whipple and two colleagues.

Whipple is internationally recognized for his research on the moon, meteors, and comets. He has conducted pioneering research in photographically measuring the speeds and decelerations of meteors, computing the orbits of comets and asteroids, and describing the structure of comets. He is the author of more than 150 scientific books and papers, has served as editor of several publications, and has been a member and officer in numerous professional organizations. In 1975, the minor planet no. 1940 was named "Whipple" in recognition of his contributions to astronomy.
Topic:
Asteroids  Search this
Comets  Search this
Astrophysics  Search this
Astronomy  Search this
Astronomers  Search this
Astrophysicists  Search this
Meteors  Search this
Genre/Form:
Manuscripts
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7431, Fred Lawrence Whipple Papers
Identifier:
Record Unit 7431
See more items in:
Fred Lawrence Whipple Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru7431

Fred Lawrence Whipple Papers

Creator:
Whipple, Fred Lawrence,  Search this
Extent:
19.72 cu. ft. (19 record storage boxes) (2 5x8 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Manuscripts
Clippings
Color photographs
Black-and-white photographs
Date:
circa 1932-2004
Descriptive Entry:
The papers of Fred Lawrence Whipple (FLW) document his astronomical research; his professional work in the field of astronomy; and his career as Director of the SAO. They include correspondence with professional colleagues, amateur astronomers, SAO staff scientists, Smithsonian Institution officials, scientific societies and professional groups, government agencies, and Harvard University staff and officials which concerns Whipple's research interests, scientific publications, and editorial work; SAO research projects; Whipple's work for professional organizations and government agencies and committees; SAO relations with the Smithsonian Institution; and his activities at Harvard University and the Harvard College Observatory. Also included are manuscripts of articles, lectures, reviews, and notes from his research; research notes on comets; and a set of Whipple's publications.

Researchers should also consult record unit 7431, Fred Lawrence Whipple Papers, c. 1927-1983; and record unit 9520, Fred Lawrence Whipple Interviews, 1976.
Historical Note:
Fred Lawrence Whipple (1906-2004), an astronomer, received the B.A. from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1927, and the Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1931. In 1932, he joined the staff of Harvard University as an Instructor of Astronomy. By 1950, Whipple had received the title of Professor and Chairman of the Department of Astronomy at Harvard. Whipple was appointed Director of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) when it moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1955. After his retirement in 1973, Whipple continued his research as a Senior Scientist at SAO.

During his tenure as Director, Whipple oversaw SAO research programs in stellar interiors, the upper atmosphere, meteorites, celestial mechanics, and geodesy studies. Major SAO projects under his direction included the Satellite Tracking Program, Project Celescope, the Radio Meteor Project, and the Meteorite Photography and Recovery Project, also known as the Prairie Network. In the late 1960's, Whipple selected Mount Hopkins, Arizona as the site of a new SAO astronomical facility. Renamed the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory in 1981, the facility houses the Multiple-Mirror Telescope (MMT), an innovative, low cost telescope planned by Whipple and two colleagues.

Whipple is internationally recognized for his research on the moon, meteors, and comets. He has conducted pioneering research in photographically measuring the speeds and decelerations of meteors, computing the orbits of comets and asteroids, and describing the structure of comets.
Topic:
Astrophysics.  Search this
Comets  Search this
Genre/Form:
Manuscripts
Clippings
Color photographs
Black-and-white photographs
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 04-183, Whipple, Fred Lawrence, , Fred Lawrence Whipple Papers
Identifier:
Accession 04-183
See more items in:
Fred Lawrence Whipple Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-fa04-183

Project Records

Creator:
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Radio Meteor Project  Search this
Extent:
44.86 linear meters.
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Electronic records
Black-and-white negatives
Manuscripts
Date:
circa 1959-1971
Descriptive Entry:
This record unit consists of films of meteors detected by the radar system at Havana, Illinois, circa 1960-1970; computer printouts containing data on meteors observed, circa 1966-1971; and computer tapes, circa 1965-1970.
Historical Note:
Created in 1958, the Radio Meteor Project analyzed the meteoric mass, velocity, orbital parameters, and physical phenomena associated with the atmospheric entry of micrometeoroids at heights of 86 to 110 km. Data was gathered by a multi-station radar system, based in Havana, Illinois. From 1958 to 1966, the project was under the administrative control of the Harvard College Observatory (HCO), with project staff including both HCO and Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) scientists. Principal funding for the project was from contracts with the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. In 1966, administration of the project was transferred to SAO. The project was terminated in 1971, and the radar facility at Havana was transferred to the University of Illinois. SAO administrative officers of the Radio Meteor Project included Dorik Mechau, 1966; C. Hagge, 1966-1970; and Harris E. Rosenthal, 1970-1971. Chief scientific investigators of the project included Gerald S. Hawkins, Richard B. Southworth, and Richard E. McCrosky.
Topic:
Meteorites.  Search this
Genre/Form:
Electronic records
Black-and-white negatives
Manuscripts
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 304, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Radio Meteor Project, Project Records
Identifier:
Record Unit 304
See more items in:
Project Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru0304

Fred Lawrence Whipple Interviews

Creator:
Whipple, Fred Lawrence,  Search this
Extent:
4 audiotapes (reference copies).
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Interviews
Audiotapes
Oral history
Date:
1976
Introduction:
The Smithsonian Institution Archives began its Oral History Program in 1973. The purpose of the program is to supplement the written documentation of the Archives' record and manuscript collections with an Oral History Collection, focusing on the history of the Institution, research by its scholars, and contributions of its staff. Program staff conducts interviews with current and retired Smithsonian staff and others who have made significant contributions to the Institution. There are also interviews conducted by researchers or students on topics related to the history of the Smithsonian or the holdings of the Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Whipple was interviewed for the Oral History Collection because of his central role in the modernization of the SAO and his outstanding contributions to science. For additional information, see the following related collections in Smithsonian Archives: the records of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory; the Fred Lawrence Whipple Papers; and Record Unit 9542, Multiple Mirror Telescope videohistory interviews.
Descriptive Entry:
Whipple was interviewed on 24 and 25 June 1976 by Pamela M. Henson. The interviews cover his education; radar countermeasure work during World War II; role in the development of national programs for astrophysics and space exploration; research program on comets, meteors, and interplanetary material; administration of SAO; development of Mt. Hopkins, MMT, and optical tracking programs; and reminiscences of colleagues such as Imre G. Izsak, Craig M. Merrihue, and Carlton W. Tillinghast.
Historical Note:
Fred Lawrence Whipple (1906-2004), received the B.A. in mathematics with a minor in physics and astronomy from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1927 and the Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California at Berkeley in 1931. His early training focused on comet orbits. After teaching for a year at Stanford University, he joined the staff of the Harvard College Observatory in 1931 and remained in Cambridge throughout his career. During the 1930s his work focused on double station meteor research. From 1943 to 1945, he developed radar countermeasures for the U. S. Army Radiation Laboratory of the Office of Scientific Research and Development. After World War II he worked on development of the Super-Schmidt cameras to photograph meteors and continued research on the influx of material from comets into the interplanetary medium. His comet research culminated in publication of the Icy Comet Model in 1950. During the forties he also conducted studies of meteor hazards to spacecraft, inventing the meteor bumper, and served on the Rocket and Satellite Research Panel. In the early fifties, with Wernher von Braun and Cornelius J. Ryan, he coauthored a series of popular articles on the conquest of the space frontier.

His teaching career at Harvard University progressed from Instructor, 1932-1938; Lecturer, 1938-1945; Associate Professor, 1945-1950; Professor, 1950-1970; Chairman of the Department of Astronomy, 1949-1956; to Phillips Professor of Astronomy, 1970-1977. Thus when Whipple was appointed Director of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) in July 1955, he moved its headquarters to the Cambridge campus and continued as Professor and member of the Harvard College Observatory staff. He reorganized the Smithsonian's observatory and reoriented its research program. Under his directorship, the staff grew from a handful to more than five hundred, including over sixty scientists.

At the request of the National Science Foundation and the National Academy of Sciences, Whipple began development of Baker-Nunn cameras to track artificial satellites during the International Geophysical Year (1957-1958). With the help of Armand N. Spitz, he also developed the Moonwatch optical tracking program, which utilized teams of volunteers observing satellites with hand-held telescopes. When Sputnik was launched in October of 1957, the Moonwatch teams were the only U. S. mechanism available to track the Russian satellite. The SAO subsequently received large contracts from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to operate the Satellite Tracking Program (STP), an optical tracking system with Baker-Nunn camera stations located all over the globe. Whipple's satellite tracking work earned him the 1963 Distinguished Civilian Service Award from President John F. Kennedy.

The Prairie Network, an optical tracking system designed to photograph meteorites and fireballs in order to calculate their orbits, created by Whipple and Richard E. McCrosky, began observations in 1964. Coordination of STP camera observations with Jodrell Bank Observatory radio data on flare stars led to the first identification of radio noise from any star besides the sun.

SAO relied on early computers such as the Mark IV, IBM 7090, and CDC 6400 for rapid processing of massive quantities of data. Baker-Nunn and Super-Schmidt camera data were directly processed by automated means, which made possible the 1966 SAO Star Catalog, coordinated by Katherine L. Haramundanis. Whipple required direct publication from computer tapes, a first for the U. S. Government Printing Office. Observations from the STP were progressively refined during the sixties through new laser tracking techniques and advances in automated data processing, to provide improved geodetic and geophysical data. In the early sixties, stellar atmosphere models were developed with the aid of an IBM 7090 and after 1966 a CDC 6400, in anticipation of far ultraviolet light data from orbiting observatories. Based on this experience in upper atmosphere research, Whipple was appointed project director for the orbiting astronomical observatories from 1958 to 1972.

The telegraph service of the International Astronomical Union came to the SAO in 1965 under the coordination of Owen J. Gingerich and later Brian G. Marsden. It utilized SAO's sophisticated communications network and led eventually to the creation of the Center for Short-Lived Phenomena by Robert A. Citron.

Development of an observatory site at Mt. Hopkins, Arizona, began in 1966. Chosen by Whipple for its altitude and seeing conditions, the site was dedicated in 1981 as the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory. On this site, in conjunction with the U. S. Air Force and University of Arizona, he developed the technically innovative Multiple Mirror Telescope (MMT), which commenced observations in May of 1979.

In addition to his own research program on comets, meteors, and interplanetary materials, Whipple coordinated the SAO research programs in celestial mechanics, geodesy, meteoritics, radio astronomy, neutrino searches, stellar atmosphere models, and the atomic clock project to test the theory of relativity. He encouraged NASA's lunar program and development of the space telescope.

Whipple was distinguished both for his theoretical work in astrophysics and his technical innovations in such areas as tracking cameras, multiple mirror telescopes, and meteor bumpers. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Whipple received the Academy's J. Lawrence Smith Medal in 1949 for his meteor research. He was awarded the Kepler Medal by the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1971 and the Joseph Henry Medal of the Smithsonian Institution in 1973. Through his work on numerous federal and private boards, panels, and commissions, Whipple was influential in the development of national programs for research in astrophysics and creation of a space exploration program.

Whipple retired from administration of SAO in 1973 but continued active research as a Senior Scientist from 1973 to 1977. Upon his retirement in 1977, he was appointed Emeritus Phillips Professor of Astronomy at Harvard.
Topic:
Astronomy  Search this
Astrophysics.  Search this
Meteorites.  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Audiotapes
Oral history
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9520, Whipple, Fred Lawrence, , Fred Lawrence Whipple Interviews
Identifier:
Record Unit 9520
See more items in:
Fred Lawrence Whipple Interviews
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru9520

Records

Creator:
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Assistant Director (Science)  Search this
Extent:
7.58 linear meters.
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Date:
1961-1973
Introduction:
This finding aid was digitized with funds generously provided by the Smithsonian Institution Women's Committee.
Descriptive Entry:
This record unit consists of administrative records maintained by Charles A. Lundquist as assistant director (Science), which primarily concern SAO scientific projects. Projects represented in the records include the Satellite Tracking Program, Celescope Project, Gravitational Redshift Space Probe Experiment, Hydrogen Maser Program, Very Long Baseline Interferometer (VLBI), Earth Albedo Project, Meteor Research Program, Meteor Simulation Project (Wallops Island), Radio Meteor Project, Southwest Meteor Spectral Patrol, Meteorite Photography and Recovery Project (Prairie Network), Mount Hopkins Observatory, Multiple-Mirror Telescope Project, National Geodetic Satellite Program, SAO Earth Physics Satellite (Cannonball), Big Dish Radio Telescope, Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams, and the Star Catalog. The record unit also includes files dealing with SAO and Smithsonian administration; records concerning National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) scientific projects and administration; general correspondence of Lundquist, 1962-1972; and an organizational file. A small amount of material pre-dates Lundquist's appointment as assistant director (Science) in 1962.
Historical Note:
Under the administrative control of the Office of the Director, the assistant director (Science) was responsible for coordinating the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory's (SAO) scientific investigations. Charles A. Lundquist became assistant director (Science) when the post was created in 1962. When Lundquist resigned in 1973, the position was abolished as a part of the reorganization of SAO and the Harvard College Observatory into the Center for Astrophysics. At that time, seven associate directors were appointed to administer SAO scientific programs.
Topic:
Astrophysical observatories.  Search this
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 253, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Assistant Director (Science), Records
Identifier:
Record Unit 253
See more items in:
Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru0253

Productions

Creator::
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Science Media Group  Search this
Extent:
22 cu. ft. (22 record storage boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Manuscripts
Black-and-white photographs
Audiotapes
Motion pictures (visual works)
Videotapes
Place:
Moon
Universe
Date:
circa 1985-1995
Descriptive Entry:
The Science Media Group (SMG) was founded by Dr. Matthew H. Schneps and Dr. Philip Michael Sadler as an experimental project to explore novel applications of video in the service of science education. In operation at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Harvard College Observatory from 1989 to 2013, this accession consists of videotapes and motion picture film of edited programs, camera masters, and supporting materials. The programs focus on classroom teaching and reflect the best practices drawn from research in science teaching and learning. Programs include interviews and on-camera presentations by leaders in the science education reform movement; extensive interviews with students, science and mathematics content experts, and K-12 and information science educators.

Productions document Albert Einstein, bubbles, congresses and conventions, science education, the moon, and the universe.

Some materials date from before the SMG was formed. Materials include videotapes, audiotapes, motion picture film, sound recordings, notes, shot logs, images, and cue sheets.
Restrictions:
Restrictions pertaining to the use of these materials may apply (based on contracts/copyright). Access restrictions may also apply if viewing/listening copies are not currently available. Viewing/listening copies can be made for a fee. Contact reference staff for details.
Topic:
Congresses and conventions  Search this
Science -- Study and teaching  Search this
Bubbles  Search this
Documentary videos  Search this
Video recordings -- Production and direction  Search this
Documentary films  Search this
Motion pictures -- Production and direction  Search this
Genre/Form:
Manuscripts
Black-and-white photographs
Audiotapes
Motion pictures (visual works)
Videotapes
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 16-120, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Science Media Group, Productions
Identifier:
Accession 16-120
See more items in:
Productions
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-fa16-120

Report: Oral Histories in Meteoritics and Planetary Science: XIII: Fred L. Whipple

Author:
Marvin, Ursula B  Search this
Subject:
Carmichael, Leonard 1898-1973  Search this
Ripley, Sidney Dillon 1913-2001  Search this
Whipple, Fred Lawrence 1906-  Search this
Nininger, Harvey  Search this
LaPaz, Lincoln  Search this
National Aeronautics and Space Administration  Search this
Prairie Meteorite Network  Search this
Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory  Search this
Mt. Hopkins Observatory  Search this
Harvard University  Search this
Harvard College Observatory  Search this
Multiple Mirror Telescope Observatory  Search this
Meteoritical Society  Search this
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory  Search this
Satellite Tracking Program  Search this
Sputnik  Search this
Moonwatch Program  Search this
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics  Search this
Physical description:
Number of pages: 15; Page numbers: A199-A213
Date:
2004
Topic:
Biography  Search this
Meteorites  Search this
Astronomy  Search this
Meteors  Search this
Telescopes  Search this
Astrophysicists  Search this
Comets  Search this
Baker-Nunn Camera  Search this
Meteoritics  Search this
Artificial satellites  Search this
International Geophysical Year, 1957-1958  Search this
Secretaries  Search this
Astrophysics  Search this
Continental drift  Search this
Publisher:
Arizona Board of Regents, University of Arizona: The Meteoritical Society
Data Source:
Smithsonian Archives - History Div
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sic_11372

The 20 Best Small Towns To Visit in 2018

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Lectures
Blog posts
Published Date:
Tue, 05 Jun 2018 15:53:16 +0000
Topic:
Custom RSS  Search this
See more posts:
Smithsonian Article Database
Data Source:
Smithsonian Magazine
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_123736ffea813b692f076559942bee6d

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