Shop Windows to the Universe

With Explore the Planets, investigate the planets, their moons, and understand the processes that shape them. By G. Jeffrey Taylor, Ph.D. See our DVD collection.
A cartoon drawing of what Hale might have looked like as he gazed through his telescope.

George Hale

George Hale was an American astronomer born in 1868. He grew up in a wealthy family and had always been interested in science and the stars. When George was young, his father even built him his own observatory in his backyard.

After attending college, he volunteered at Harvard College's Observatory. While working at the observatory, he invented an instrument called the spectrohelioscope. A spectrohelioscope is a combination of a telescope and a spectroscope, and it is used to measure the chemicals that compose planets and stars.

George Hale then set up many observatories across the nation, including the Yerkes Observatory in Wisconsin and the Mt. Wilson Observatory in California. Hale is also known for creating the field of Astrophysics. In the early 1900, he asked Andrew Carnegie for research money to analyze planets and stars from both astronomical and physical perspectives. From this research, George Hale became one of the pioneers of Astrophysics. George Hale passed away in 1938.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Our online store includes fun classroom activities for you and your students. Issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist are also full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science!

Windows to the Universe Community



You might also be interested in:

Science, Evolution, and Creationism

How did life evolve on Earth? The answer to this question can help us understand our past and prepare for our future. Although evolution provides credible and reliable answers, polls show that many people turn away from science, seeking other explanations with which they are more comfortable....more


The pinpoints of light that you see in the night sky are stars. Your ability to see the stars depends on their magnitude as seen from Earth. Stars are giant balls of gas in space that shine through the...more

Florence Bascom

Florence Bascom (1862-1945) was one of the first female geologists in the United States and her colleagues regarded her as one of the nationís most important geologists. In 1896 she was the first woman...more

Niels Bohr

Niels Bohr was a Danish physicist who lived between 1885-1962. He investigated atomic structure, modifying Rutherford's old model of an atom by confining electrons to orbits of specific radii. Bohr also...more

Marie Curie

Marie Curie was a physicist and chemist who lived between 1867-1934. She contributed greatly to our understanding of radioactivity and the effects of x-rays. She was born Maria Skłodowska in Warsaw,...more

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein was a German physicist who lived between 1879-1955. His special and general theories of relativity, theory of Brownian motion, work in quantum physics, statistical mechanics, and on the...more

Robert Goddard

Robert Goddard was an American physicist who lived between 1882-1945. He was a pioneer of modern rocketry who discovered that liquid fuel is more efficient than solid fuel. Although Goddard's first rocket...more

Werner Heisenberg

Werner Heisenberg was a German physicist who lived between 1901-1976. He developed new theories in quantum mechanics which agreed with the results of previous experiments. Heisenberg is most famous for...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA