Jan Oort

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Jan Oort
Jan Oort
Birthday/Birthplace (1900-04-28)28 April 1900
Franeker, Friesland
Deceased 5 November 1992(1992-11-05)
Leiden, South Holland
Citizenship Dutch
Credit for
  • Oort cloud
  • Dark matter
Awards Won Vetlesen Prize (1966)
Kyoto Prize (1987)
Scientific career
Fields Astronomy
Doctoral advisor Jacobus Cornelius Kapteyn

Jan Oort Short Bio

Jan Hendrik Oort (April 28, 1900 – November 5, 1992) was an internationally known Dutch astronomer. It stimulated radioastronomy in a special way. It is known because the comet torus that envelops the Solar System received its name, Oort Cloud.

Oort was born in Franeker in Friesland and studied in Groningen with Jacobus Cornelius Kapteyn. His doctoral thesis was entitled High Speed ​​Stars. In 1927 he proved that the Milky Way rotated, analyzing the movement of the stars. In 1935 he obtained the position of professor in the University of Leiden, where Ejnar Hertzsprung was the director.

Oort was fascinated by the radio waves of the universe. After the Second World War he became a pioneer in the field of radio astronomy, for which he used an old German radar antenna.

In the 1950s he got a new telescope in Dwingeloo, east of Holland, to investigate the galactic center. In 1970 a new one was built at Westerbook, consisting of 12 small radio telescopes working in unison to perform interferometric observations. This type of observation had been proposed by him, but Martin Ryle used it successfully before.

His hypothesis of the common origin of comets was later accepted as correct, although nowadays it is believed that there are other places of formation.

More Facts about Jan Oort

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