Gerard Henri De Vaucouleurs
(1918-1995)

 

French-born US astronomer who carried out important research into extragalactic nebulae. In 1956 he suggested that there is a pattern in the location of nebulae, clusters of stars formerly thought to be randomly scattered.
De Vaucouleurs was educated at the University of Paris. He worked in Australia 1951-57 and then moved to the USA. In 1965 he became professor of astronomy at the University of Texas, Austin.
The material he published 1956 seemed to indicate that a local supercluster of nebulae exists, which includes our own Milky Way stellar system. He suggested a model in which the great Virgo cluster might be 'a dominant congregation not too far from its central region'. As evidence for its existence, De Vaucouleurs pointed out the similarity in position and extent of a broad maximum of cosmic radio noise.


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