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Oral History
Donald E. Osterbrock Oral History Interview with Shirley K. Cohen [sound recording]

Resource available online.

In this brief interview, the American astronomer Donald Osterbrock, who died on January 11, 2007, offers recollections of Enrico Fermi and Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar in the early 1950s at the University of Chicago. He recalls the atmosphere at Yerkes Observatory, where he got his PhD (1952); his postdoctoral fellowship at Princeton (1952-1953); and the five years he spent at Caltech, first as an instructor (1953-1955) and then as an assistant professor (1955-1958). At Caltech, he worked on gaseous nebulae. He recalls that work and comments on Jesse Greenstein's style as head of the astronomy department. He discusses his various colleagues affiliated with the Carnegie Observatories on Santa Barbara Street in Pasadena, including Walter Baade, Rudolph Minkowski, Armin Deutsch and Maarten Schmidt; his Caltech colleagues Guido M√ľnch, Art Code, and Fritz Zwicky; his two graduate students, George Abell and John Mathis; his decision to leave Caltech in 1958 and help Art Code develop a graduate program in astronomy at the University of Wisconsin.

ID: 2003-00289
Osterbrock, Donald E. (Astronomer)

Creation Feb. 10, 2003

MEDIUM: Sound recording; FORMAT: Sound cassette: analog; QUANTITY: 1 set (1 cassette per set)

Topics: Astronomy

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