- Rupert Wildt
name = Rupert Wildt
caption = Rupert Wildt
June 25, 1905
January 9, 1976
citizenship = American
nationality = German
University of Berlin
Rupert Wildt (
June 25, 1905– January 9, 1976) was a German-American astronomer.
He was born in
Munich, Germany, and grew up in that country during World War Iand its aftermath. In 1927 he was awarded a Ph.D.from the University of Berlin. He joined the University of Göttingen, specializing in the properties of atmospheres.
In 1932 he studied the
spectraof Jupiter, and other outer planets, and identified certain absorption bands as belonging to the hydrogen-rich compounds of methaneand ammonia. The composition appeared consistent with a composition similar to the sunand other stars.
Assuming that the atmosphere was composed of these gases, during the 1940s and 1950s he constructed a model of the structure of these planets. He believed the core of the planets is solid and composed of a mixture of rock and metal, covered by a thick outer shell of ice, overlaid by a dense atmosphere. His model is still widely accepted.
In 1934 he emigrated to the
United States, and became a research assistant at Princeton Universityfrom 1937 until 1942. He then became an assistant professorat the University of Virginiauntil 1947, before joining the faculty of the Yale University.
In 1937 he proposed that the atmosphere of Venus was composed of a mist of
formaldehyde. His observations of the atmosphere did not find any water at the time, but later balloon-based measurements did show water in the atmosphere and so his proposal was abandoned. In 1940, however, he also hypothesized that the carbon dioxidein the venusian atmosphere trapped heat, a phenomenon later called the greenhouse effect.
From 1965 until 1968 he was president of the "Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy". In the period 1966-1968 he also held the post of the chairman of the department of astronomy at
Yale, and from 1973 until his death he was professor emeritus. He died in Orleans, Massachusetts.
His family name is pronounced "vihlt" IPA| [vɪlt] .
Awards and honors
* Awarded the
Eddington Medalin 1966 [http://adsbit.harvard.edu//full/seri/QJRAS/0007//0000120.000.html]
Asteroid 1953 Rupertwildtis named for him.
* Wildt crater on the
Moonis named for him.
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Rupert Wildt — (* 25. Juni 1905 in München; † 9. Januar 1976 in Orleans (Massachusetts)) war deutschamerikanischer Astronom. Er erklärte erstmals den Energietransport in der Sonne. Wildt (Sohn von Hertha und Gero Wildt) begann 1923 in Berlin mit dem Studium der … Deutsch Wikipedia
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