Robert Grant Aitken
Robert Grant Aitken (1864-1951)
Born December 31, 1864(1864-12-31)
Jackson, California
Died October 29, 1951 (age 86)
Berkeley, California
Residence Flag of the United States USA
Nationality Flag of the United States American
Fields Astronomy
Institutions University of California

Robert Grant Aitken (December 31, 1864 – October 29, 1951) was an American astronomer.[1]

He worked at Lick Observatory in California.[1] He systematically studied double stars, measuring their positions and calculating their orbits around one another. He methodically created a very large catalog of such stars, which was published in 1932 and entitled New General Catalogue of Double Stars Within 120o of the North Pole,[1] with the orbit information enabling astronomers to calculate stellar mass statistics for a large number of stars. Aitken also measured positions and computed orbits for comets and natural satellites of planets.

In 1898 and 1915 he was elected president of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.

Aitken was partly deaf and used a hearing aid. He married Jessie Thomas around 1888, and had three sons and one daughter. His grandson, Robert Baker Aitken, was a widely-known Zen Buddhist teacher and author.



Named after him


  1. ^ a b c Daintith, John (1981). "Aitken, Robert Grant". Biographical Encyclopedia of Scientists. 1. New York: Facts On File, Inc.. pp. 9. ISBN 0871963965. 

External linksEdit


NAME Aitken, Robert Grant
DATE OF BIRTH December 31, 1864
PLACE OF BIRTH Jackson, California
DATE OF DEATH October 29, 1951
PLACE OF DEATH Berkeley, California

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