Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, JoAnn Palmeri, Daniel W. E. Green

Seyfert, Carl Keenan

  • Hartmut Frommert
Reference work entry

BornCleveland, Ohio, USA, 11 February 1911

DiedNashville, Tennessee, USA, 13 June 1960

American observational astronomer Carl Seyfert is remembered in the name of the small group of galaxies, Seyfert’s Sextet, and, more particularly, in Seyfert galaxies, a class of spirals distinguished by bright, wide emission lines coming from gas near their centers and now believed to have nuclear black holes of millions to hundreds of millions of solar masses.

The son of a pharmacist, Seyfert was educated in the Cleveland schools and at Harvard University, starting in 1929 in medicine, but turning to astronomy under the inspiration of  Bart Bok. He received a BS (1933), an MA (1933), and a Ph.D. (1936), for work on colors and magnitudes of galaxies. His dissertation work was guided by  Harlow Shapley. Seyfert married Muriel E. Mussells in 1935; their children are a daughter Gail Carol and a son Carl Keenan Seyfert, Jr., a well-known geophysicist and textbook author.

In 1936, Seyfert was appointed...

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Selected References

  1. Anon. (1960). “Carl K. Seyfert.” Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific 72: 434.Google Scholar
  2. Hardie, Robert (1961). “Carl Keenan Seyfert.” Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society 2: 123–125.Google Scholar
  3. Seyfert, Carl K. (1943). “Nuclear Emission in Spiral Nebulae.” Astrophysical Journal 97: 28–40. (Seyfert’s original paper on the active galaxies now called Seyfert galaxies.)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hartmut Frommert
    • 1
  1. 1.MunichBavariaGermany