Rudolph Minkowski
Rudolph Minkowski (May 28, 1895 – January 4, 1976) was a German-American astronomer
An astronomer is a scientist who studies celestial bodies such as planets, stars and galaxies.Historically, astronomy was more concerned with the classification and description of phenomena in the sky, while astrophysics attempted to explain these phenomena and the differences between them using...

. His father was the physiologist Oskar Minkowski
Oskar Minkowski
Oskar Minkowski He held a professor at at the University of Breslau and is most famous for his research on diabetes...

 and his uncle was Hermann Minkowski
Hermann Minkowski
Hermann Minkowski was a German mathematician of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, who created and developed the geometry of numbers and who used geometrical methods to solve difficult problems in number theory, mathematical physics, and the theory of relativity.- Life and work :Hermann Minkowski was born...


Rudolph studied supernova
A supernova is a stellar explosion that is more energetic than a nova. It is pronounced with the plural supernovae or supernovas. Supernovae are extremely luminous and cause a burst of radiation that often briefly outshines an entire galaxy, before fading from view over several weeks or months...

e and, together with Walter Baade
Walter Baade
Wilhelm Heinrich Walter Baade was a German astronomer who worked in the USA from 1931 to 1959.-Biography:He took advantage of wartime blackout conditions during World War II, which reduced light pollution at Mount Wilson Observatory, to resolve stars in the center of the Andromeda galaxy for the...

, divided them into two classes (Type I and Type II) based on their spectral characteristics. He and Baade also found optical counterparts to various radio
Radio astronomy
Radio astronomy is a subfield of astronomy that studies celestial objects at radio frequencies. The initial detection of radio waves from an astronomical object was made in the 1930s, when Karl Jansky observed radiation coming from the Milky Way. Subsequent observations have identified a number of...


He headed the National Geographic Society – Palomar Observatory Sky Survey
National Geographic Society – Palomar Observatory Sky Survey
The National Geographic Society – Palomar Observatory Sky Survey is a major photographic survey of the night sky that was completed at Palomar Observatory in 1958.-Observations:...

, a photographic atlas of the entire northern sky (and down to declination
In astronomy, declination is one of the two coordinates of the equatorial coordinate system, the other being either right ascension or hour angle. Declination in astronomy is comparable to geographic latitude, but projected onto the celestial sphere. Declination is measured in degrees north and...

 -22°) up to magnitude
Apparent magnitude
The apparent magnitude of a celestial body is a measure of its brightness as seen by an observer on Earth, adjusted to the value it would have in the absence of the atmosphere...


He co-discovered the Apollo asteroid
Apollo asteroid
The Apollo asteroids are a group of near-Earth asteroids named after 1862 Apollo, the first asteroid of this group to be discovered by Karl Wilhelm Reinmuth...

 1620 Geographos
1620 Geographos
The asteroid 1620 Geographos was discovered on September 14, 1951 at the Palomar Observatory by Albert George Wilson and Rudolph Minkowski. It was originally given the provisional designation 1951 RA...

, and also discovered Planetary Nebula M2-9
Planetary Nebula M2-9
Minkowski 2-9, abbreviated M2-9, is a planetary nebula that was discovered by Rudolph Minkowski in 1947. It is located about 2,100 light-years away from Earth in the direction of the constellation Ophiuchus...


He won the Bruce Medal
Bruce Medal
The Catherine Wolfe Bruce Gold Medal is awarded every year by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific for outstanding lifetime contributions to astronomy. It is named after Catherine Wolfe Bruce, an American patroness of astronomy, and was first awarded in 1898...

 in 1961. The crater Minkowski
Minkowski (crater)
Minkowski is a lunar crater on the far side of the Moon, in the lower latitudes of the southern hemisphere. It lies about one crater diameter to the north-northeast of Lemaître, a formation of similar dimension...

 on the Moon
The Moon is Earth's only known natural satellite,There are a number of near-Earth asteroids including 3753 Cruithne that are co-orbital with Earth: their orbits bring them close to Earth for periods of time but then alter in the long term . These are quasi-satellites and not true moons. For more...

 is named after him and his uncle.
Asteroids are a class of small Solar System bodies in orbit around the Sun. They have also been called planetoids, especially the larger ones...

s discovered: 1
1620 Geographos
1620 Geographos
The asteroid 1620 Geographos was discovered on September 14, 1951 at the Palomar Observatory by Albert George Wilson and Rudolph Minkowski. It was originally given the provisional designation 1951 RA...

September 14, 1951 with A. G. Wilson
Albert George Wilson
Albert George Wilson is an American astronomer.He was born in Houston, Texas. He received his Ph.D. in mathematics from Caltech in 1947; his thesis title was Axially Symmetric Thermal Stresses in a Semi-Infinite Solid....

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