Biographies

Allan Rex Sandage, clusters and contraction in the Universe

Allan Rex Sandage, clusters and contraction in the Universe

The American astronomer Allan Rex Sandage (Iowa, 1926 - 2010) devoted much of his professional career to the study of globular cluster spectra, calculating that the age of the universe could be over 15,000 million years.

It is also due to the theory of a cosmological model that, in addition to considering the expansion of the universe, also takes into account its contraction over a period of about 80,000 million years.

During his time at the Monte Palomar observatory in San Diego, California, Sandage discovered the first "blue wandering stars." The year was 1952. Six years later, he made public the first estimate of the Hubble parameter, around 75 km / s / Mpc, a value quite approximate to the one currently accepted.

Regarding his spectral studies of globular clusters, Sandage concluded that they were at least 25,000 million years old. From this he deduced that the universe not only expands, but also contracts in cycles of 80,000 million years.

Sandage is also due to the discovery of the energy jets that emerge from the M82 Galaxy, which are believed to be caused by massive explosions in the nucleus. Another of his discoveries was the asteroid (96155) 1973 HA.

Although of Jewish origin, Allan Rex Sandage converted to Christianity at the age of 60. When asked if it was compatible to be a scientist and a Christian at the same time, his answer was clear: "Yes. As I said earlier, the world is too complex and its parts are too interconnected to be all due to luck."

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