The Shapley - Curtis Debate in 1920

  image 1920/shapley.gif                    image 1920/curtis.gif 
 Harlow Shapley                  Heber D. Curtis 

The Scale of the Universe

What the Great Debate was, how it was resolved, and why it was important.
A subjective abstract in three short paragraphs.

Published version of the 'Great Debate.' This is a reprint of the texts of Great Debate published in 1921 in the Bulletin of the National Research Council by Shapley and Curtis.

The 'Great Debate:' What Really Happened by Michael Hoskin, editor of the Journal for the History of Astronomy. This is a reprint of an article appearing in the Journal for the History of Astronomy discussing reality and myths about the 1920 event. The article includes text from the actual notes used by Shapley and slides used by Curtis.

"The 1920 Shapley-Curtis Discussion: Background, Issues, And Outcome". This excellent review of the historical context, personalities, and scientific issues relevant to the Great Debate is the written version of the presentation given by noted astronomer and author Virginia Trimble as part of the 75th anniversary debate program.

A long bibliography for the 1920 Great Debate. This collection of over one hundred articles and books was compiled by Robert W. Smith, a historian working at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

A short bibliography for the 1920 Great Debate. Five key books and articles about the Great Debate.

A lesson plan for teaching undergraduates about the Great Debate. The lesson plan consists of an outline, a lecture, suggested classroom uses for the plan, and 10 review questions.

A Glossary of terms used in the Great Debate.

Some related links to the Mount Wilson historical archives.

image 1920/hooker_100.gif     image 1920/hubble_100.gif     image 1920/cepheid_and.gif

Hooker 100-in telescope  Edwin Hubble    Cepheids in M31

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