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Fwd: [UASR]> [forteana] Fred Whipple RIP

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  • Frits Westra
    ... From: Terry W. Colvin Subject: [UASR] FWD [forteana] Fred Whipple RIP Date: Tue, 31 Aug 2004 10:45:06 -0700
    Message 1 of 1 , 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


      < 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.
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