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

Stebbins, Joel

Reference work entry

BornOmaha, Nebraska, USA, 20 July 1878

DiedPalo Alto, California, USA, 16 March 1966

American photometrist Joel Stebbins was an innovator in the use of photoelectric photometry, and in 1915 applied these techniques to measure the first light curve of an eclipsing binary from which the distance to the system could be determined. He also used photoelectric photometry to make the first quantitative measurement of night-sky brightness caused by urban light pollution and to look for evidence that galaxies had changed their colors with the evolution of the Universe.

The son of Charles Sumner and Sara Ann (néeStubbs) Stebbins, Joel developed an early interest in astronomy. His first jobs (apart from newspaper delivery boy) included part-time surveying work for the Union Pacific Railroad, which employed his father. His marriage in 1905 produced two children, but the family member to whom he was closest seems to have been his sister Millicent, who sometimes made Wisconsin-California summer...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Selected References

  1. Code, A. D. (1993). Massive Stars: Their Lives in the Interstellar Medium, edited by Joseph P. Cassinelli and Edward B. Churchwell. San Francisco: Astronomical Society of the Pacific, p. 3.Google Scholar
  2. Garstang, R. H. (2002). “Light Pollution at Mount Wilson and at Palomar in 1931–32.” Observatory 122: 154.ADSGoogle Scholar
  3. Hearnshaw, J. B. (1996). The Measurement of Starlight: Two Centuries of Astronomical Photometry. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Kron, Gerald E. (1966). “Joel Stebbins, 1878–1966.” Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific 78: 214–222.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Kunz, Jakob and Joel Stebbins (1916). “On the Construction of Sensitive Photoelectric Cells.” Physical Review 7: 62–65.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Osterbrock, Donald E. (1976). “The California-Wisconsin Axis in American Astronomy – II.” Sky & Telescope 51, no. 2: 91–97.ADSGoogle Scholar
  7. Stebbins, Joel (1908). “The Color Sensitivity of Selenium Cells.” Astrophysical Journal 27: 183–187.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. — (1915). “The Electrical Photometry of Stars.” Science 41: 809–813.Google Scholar
  9. — (1915). “Some Problems in Stellar Photometry.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 1: 259–262.Google Scholar
  10. — (1926). “The Light Variations of the Satellites of Jupiter and their Application to Measures of the Solar Constant.” Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific 38: 321.Google Scholar
  11. — (1945). “Six-Color Photometry of Stars. II. Light-Curves of δ Cephei.” Astrophysical Journal 101: 47–55.Google Scholar
  12. — (1950). “The Electrical Photometry of Stars and Nebulae.” Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 110: 416–428. (George Darwin Lecture, 13 October 1950.)Google Scholar
  13. Stebbins, Joel and A. E. Whitford (1936). “Absorption and Space Reddening in the Galaxy from the Colors of Globular Clusters.” Astrophysical Journal 84: 132–157.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. — (1943). “Six-Color Photometry of Stars. I. The Law of Space Reddening from the Colors of O and B Stars.” Astrophysical Journal 98: 20–32.Google Scholar
  15. Stebbins, Joel, C. M. Huffer, and A. E. Whitford (1939). “Space Reddening in the Galaxy.” Astrophysical Journal 90: 209–229.ADSMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Walsh, J. W. T. (1953). Photometry. 2nd rev. ed. London: Constable and Co.Google Scholar
  17. Whitford, A. E.(1978). “Joel Stebbins.” Biographical Memoirs, National Academy of Sciences 49: 293–316.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Università di PisaPisaItaly