The Astronomical Legacy of Asaph Hall
Today’s professional astronomers are highly specialized folk. Almost certainly, an astronomer who is an expert in planetary orbits say, will know relatively little about the cutting edge of stellar astrophysics and vice versa. The exponential increase in our knowledge of the Universe has made specialization a necessity. But there was once a time when astronomers were highly knowledgeable in almost all avenues of their discipline. This is the story of one of the last of this generation of ‘Jack of all trades’ astronomer; the famous discoverer of the tiny Martian satellites, Asaph Hall (Fig. 20.1).
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