National Geographic : 1953 May
Also present were members of The Society's photographic staff who have worked closely with Dr. Edgerton. Edwin L. Wisherd, chief of the photo graphic laboratory, in particular realized the worth of Dr. Edger ton's flash equipment. Using it, he made pictures of flying squirrels that showed clearly for the first time how the noc turnal animals achieve their soaring flight.* Dr. Edgerton is a native of Fremont, Nebraska. Two years after his graduation from the University of Nebraska in 1925 as a Bachelor of Science, he earned a Master of Science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, later a Doctorate of Science. Dr. Van Biesbroeck Confirms Einstein Dr. Van Biesbroeck received his award, $1,000, at his home in Williams Bay, Wisconsin. The distinguished astronomer, in cooperation with the United States Navy and Air Force, in Dr1952 led a National Geographic 706 w. Robert Moore. Nati ed tional CGeograhic Seota Dr. Van Biesbroeck on Sudan's Sands Society expedition to Khartoum Prepares to Shoot an Eclipse in the Sudan, where he photo Ptad r. emares o n Ne graphed the star field around Here the astronomer sights on a guide star while making adjust- the sun during its total eclipse ments in the clockwork that drives the 20-foot telescope. Canvas screen in background protects the instrument from desert winds. of February 25.t He returned to Khartoum in "Dr. Edgerton never has permitted the August, and, with the telescope standing in National Geographic Society to pay him per- exactly the same place as before, photographed sonally for his work. Now, through this the same stars in the same relative position richly deserved award made possible by the at night. By comparing the two sets of pic distinguished Burr family, The Society can tures, he measured accurately the displace repay part of its own indebtedness to him ment of the star images caused by bending while expressing the gratitude of the entire of their light as it passed the sun. world of geographic science." Almost 40 years before, Dr. Einstein had "Whenever one starts anything new," Dr. calculated that the shift would be 1.75 seconds Edgerton said in reply, "it is usually a long of arc, a tiny fraction of one degree of a circle. time before anyone appreciates or uses it. The amount of displacement observed by Dr. But almost immediately, in my case, there Van Biesbroeck was between 1.40 and 2.00, came inquiries from the National Geographic with an average of 1.70 seconds of arc. Society, followed by encouragement and prac- Born in Gent, Belgium, Dr. Van Bies tical tests of the equipment. broeck studied astronomy both in his native "The interest of The Society and its photo- country and in Germany. He came to the graphic experts has been of inestimable value." United States in 1915 as a visiting professor Trustees of The Society present at the and became an American citizen in 1922. His luncheon, besides Dr. Grosvenor, were Dr. association with the University of Chicago, Lyman J. Briggs, Franklin L. Fisher, Dr. where he was active professor of astronomy Robert V. Fleming, Dr. Alexander Wetmore, from 1924 until 1945, started in 1917. Dr. Hugh L. Dryden, Dr. William E. Wrather, Melville Bell Grosvenor, Rear Adm. L. O. * See "'Flying' Squirrels, Nature's Gliders," by Colbert, U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, Ernest P. Walker, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, May, 1947. Ret., Vice Adm. Emory S. Land, U. S. Navy, t See "South in the Sudan," by Harry Hoogstraal, Ret., and Dr. Thomas W. McKnew. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, February, 1953.