17353Fwd: [UASR]> [forteana] Fred Whipple RIP
- Aug 31, 2004------- Forwarded message -------
From: "Terry W. Colvin" <fortean1@...>
Subject: [UASR]> FWD [forteana] Fred Whipple RIP
Date: Tue, 31 Aug 2004 10:45:06 -0700
[U A S R]> UFOs-, ALIENs-, SPACE- RESEARCH MAILING LIST <[U A S R]
< http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3614064.stm >
Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 August, 2004, 13:12 GMT 14:12 UK
Comet pioneer Fred Whipple dies
By Dr David Whitehouse
BBC News Online science editor
Fred Whipple - the astronomer who first correctly described comets as
snowballs" - has died aged 97.
He revolutionised the study of comets when in 1950-51 he proposed that they
were not "sandbags" but small bodies made or rock, dust and ice.
He also predicted the coming of artificial satellites and was prepared with
a satellite tracking network when Sputnik was launched in 1957.
He discovered six comets, all of which were named after him.
Fred Whipple began work at the Harvard College Observatory in 1931 and from
1955 to 1973 directed the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory helping it
become the renowned Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
Working for the US Air Force during World War II he came up with the idea
for chaff - little bundles of shredded aluminum foil that could be dropped
from US aircraft to confuse German radar. Air Force wits dubbed him the
"Chief of Chaff" as a result.