May 28, 1895|
Strasbourg, German Empire
January 4, 1976 (aged 80)|
|Awards||Bruce Medal in 1961|
|1620 Geographos||September 14, 1951|
Minkowski was the son of Marie Johanna Siegel and physiologist Oskar Minkowski. His uncle was Hermann Minkowski, a mathematician and one of Einstein's teachers in Zürich. Rudolph studied supernovae and, together with Walter Baade, divided them into two classes (Type I and Type II) based on their spectral characteristics. He and Baade also found optical counterparts to various radio sources.
He headed the National Geographic Society – Palomar Observatory Sky Survey, a photographic atlas of the entire northern sky (and down to declination -22°) up to an apparent magnitude of 22.
Together with Albert George Wilson, he co-discovered the near-Earth Apollo asteroid 1620 Geographos in 1951, and he also discovered Planetary Nebula M2-9. He additionally discovered a correlation between the luminosity of early-type galaxies and their velocity dispersion, which was later quantified by Faber and Jackson. He won the Bruce Medal in 1961. The lunar crater Minkowski is named after him and his uncle.
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