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Albert Edward Whitford (October 22, 1905 – March 28, 2002) was an American astronomer.

Whitford was born in Milton, Wisconsin and attended Milton College. He received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He served as the director of Washburn Observatory from 1948 to 1958. From 1958 to 1968 he was the director of Lick Observatory. Later he served on the faculties of both the University of California, Santa Cruz and the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Whitford was a pioneer in the field of photoelectric photometry, greatly improving sensitivity. The Whitford reddening curve, quantifying the interstellar absorption of light, was important in the mapping of the distribution of stars in the Milky Way. He also studied the stars in galactic nuclear bulges.

In 1986 Whitford received the Henry Norris Russell Lectureship and in 1996 he was awarded the Bruce Medal.

The asteroid 2301 Whitford is named in his honor.

External links

UCSC Press Release
Bruce Medalists

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