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Dr. Edwin Hubble: Study of Extragalactic Nebulae, 1939


Edwin Hubble was awarded the 1939 Franklin Medal in Physics for "his extensive study of the nebulae, particularly those outside our galaxy, as a result of which the dimensions of observed space have been greatly increased."

Other awards and honors bestowed on Hubble include:

  • The 1938 Catherine Wolfe Bruce gold medal, awarded yearly by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific for outstanding lifetime contributions to astronomy
  • The 1940 Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society
  • A 1946 Medal of Merit for outstanding contribution to ballistics research, more specifically for "exceptional conduct in providing outstanding services to citizens" during World War II
  • 1948 election as an Honorary Fellow of Queen's College, Oxford, for notable contributions to astronomy
  • Asteroid 2069 Hubble, discovered by Indiana University astronomers in 1955, is named for Edwin Powell Hubble, as is the Hubble crater on the Moon and the Hubble Space Telescope.

In the latter part of his career, Hubble campaigned heartily for astronomy to be considered an area of physics rather than its own discipline. This was primarily so that he and fellow astronomers could be recognized by the Nobel Prize Committee for contributions to astrophysics. Even though Hubble was unsucessful for many years, the Committee eventually decided that work in the field of astronomy could be eligible for the Nobel Prize in physics. However, the decision came too late for Hubble; it was made a few months after his death in 1953. The Nobel Prize has never been awarded posthumously.

supplementary report

CSA Sub-Committee Report, Supplementary Report of the standing sub-Committee on the Franklin Medal, 2/8/1939 (759k)
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Report, Biographical sketch of Hubble, undated (865k)


Report, Sketch of Hubble's life and work, and award citation (and handwritten copy), undated (930k)
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