US astronomer who carried out a spectroscopic study of distant galaxies, determining their velocities from their red shift.
Humason, born in Dodge Centre, Minnesota, dropped out of school at
14 to hang around Mount Wilson Observatory, California. For a while
he was a mule driver for the pack trains that carried construction materials
to the observatory from the Sierra Madre. In 1917 he joined the observatory
staff as a janitor, but was quickly promoted, becoming assistant astronomer
1919. From 1954 he was astronomer at the Mount Wilson and Palomar Observatories.
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