Harold Johnson (astronomer)


Harold Lester Johnson (April 17, 1921 – April 2, 1980) was an American astronomer.

Harold Lester Johnson
Born(1921-04-17)April 17, 1921
Denver, Colorado, US
DiedApril 2, 1980(1980-04-02) (aged 58)
Mexico City, Mexico
Alma mater
Known forUBV photometric system
SpouseMary Elizabeth Jones
Scientific career
InstitutionsLowell Observatory, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Yerkes Observatory, McDonald Observatory, University of Texas–Austin, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, National Autonomous University of Mexico
ThesisThe Development of an Electronic Device for the Measurement of Stellar Spectrograms for Radial Velocity. (1948)
Doctoral advisorHarold Weaver

Harold Johnson was born in Denver, Colorado, on April 17, 1921. He received his early education in Denver public schools and went to the University of Denver, graduating with a degree in mathematics in 1942. Johnson was recruited by the MIT Radiation Laboratory to work on World War II related radar research. After the war Johnson began graduate studies in astronomy at University of California, Berkeley where he completed his thesis under Harold Weaver in 1948.

In the following years working at Lowell Observatory, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Yerkes Observatory (where he met William Wilson Morgan), McDonald Observatory, University of Texas–Austin, the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory in Tucson, Arizona, and the National Autonomous University of Mexico he applied his instrumental and electronic talents to developing and calibrating astronomical photoelectric detectors. He died of a heart attack in Mexico City in 1980. He and his wife, Mary Elizabeth Jones, had two children.

Johnson was awarded the Helen B. Warner Prize by the American Astronomical Society in 1956. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1969. He is remembered for introducing the UBV photometric system (also called the Johnson or Johnson-Morgan system), along with William Wilson Morgan in 1953.

External links edit

  • National Academy of Sciences Biography by Gérard Henri de Vaucouleurs
  • Johnson, H. L.; Morgan, W. W. (1953). "Fundamental stellar photometry for standards of spectral type on the revised system of the Yerkes spectral atlas". Astrophysical Journal. 117: 313–52. Bibcode:1953ApJ...117..313J. doi:10.1086/145697.