Edward Charles Pickering

Edward Charles Pickering (July 19, 1846February 3, 1919) was an American astronomer and physicist, brother of William Henry Pickering.

Along with Carl Vogel, Pickering discovered the first spectroscopic binary stars. He wrote Elements of Physical Manipulations (2 vol., 1873–76).

Pickering attended Boston Latin School, and received his B.S. from Harvard in 1865. Later, he served as director of Harvard College Observatory from 1877 to his death in 1919, where he made great leaps forward in the gathering of stellar spectra through the use of photography. At Harvard, he recruited many women to work for him, including Annie Jump Cannon, Henrietta Swan Leavitt, and Antonia Maury. These women, who came to be known as "Pickering's Harem" by the scientific community, made several important discoveries at HCO.

In 1876 he co-founded the Appalachian Mountain Club.

In 1911 he co-founded the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) with William T. Olcott.



* Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (1886 and 1901)

* Henry Draper Medal (1888)

* Bruce Medal (1908)

Named after him

* Pickering crater on the Moon

* Crater on Mars

* Asteroid 784 Pickeringia

(all jointly named after him and his brother William Henry Pickering)


* Works by Edward Charles Pickering at Project Gutenberg


* (German) AN 208 (1919) 133/134

* JRASC 13 (1919) 160

* MNRAS 80 (1920) 360

* PASP 31 (1919) 73


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