Aitken, Robert Grant (1864 - 1951)
Robert Grant Aitken was born on the 31 December 1864 in Jackson, California. Between 1895 and 1906 he was assistant astronomer at the Lick Observatory, promoted in 1906 to astronomer, 1923 to associate director and in 1930 director of the observatory. Between 1923 and 1930 W. W. Campbell was director but at the same time president of the University of California. Since 1935 emeritus director. He was the fourth director of the Lick Observatory. His main work, in cooperation with W. J. Hussey, is contained in the two volume book "New General Catalogue of Double Stars within 120 degrees of the North Pole". It contains data on 17.180 double stars and was published in 1932. Another major publication, "The Binary Stars", was first printed in 1918 and reprinted as an updated second edition in 1935.
From 1897 until 1908 Aitken served as editor of the Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.
He died on the 29. October 1951 in Berkeley, California. Minor planet (3070) Aitken is named in his honor as well as a Moon crater 2 on the far side.
Pogg. Vol. VI, part 1, p. 30, incl. bibliography
2 The Cambridge Atlas of Astronomy
Oxford Dictionary of Astronomy, ed. Ian Ridpath, OUP, Oxford (1997), p. 8
Dictionary of Scientific Biography, Vol. 1 (1970), p. 87
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