Henry Norris Russell

Henry Norris Russell
Portrait of Henry Norris Russell.jpg
Born(1877-10-25)October 25, 1877
Oyster Bay, New York, USA
DiedFebruary 18, 1957(1957-02-18) (aged 79)
Princeton, New Jersey, USA
Alma materPrinceton University
Known for
Scientific career
InstitutionsPrinceton University
Doctoral advisorCharles Augustus Young[2]
Doctoral students

Prof Henry Norris Russell FRS(For) HFRSE FRAS (October 25, 1877 – February 18, 1957) was an American astronomer who, along with Ejnar Hertzsprung, developed the Hertzsprung–Russell diagram (1910). In 1923, working with Frederick Saunders, he developed Russell–Saunders coupling, which is also known as LS coupling.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10]


Russell was born on 25 October 1877, at Oyster Bay, New York, the son of Rev Alexander Gatherer Russell (1845-1911) and his wife, Eliza Hoxie Norris.[11]

He studied astronomy at Princeton University, obtaining his B.A. In 1897 and his doctorate in 1899, studying under Charles Augustus Young. From 1903 to 1905, he worked at the Cambridge Observatory with Arthur Robert Hinks as a research assistant of the Carnegie Institution and came under the strong influence of George Darwin.

He returned to Princeton to become an instructor in astronomy (1905–1908), assistant professor (1908–1911), professor (1911–1927) and research professor (1927–1947). He was also the director of the Princeton University Observatory from 1912 to 1947.

He died in Princeton, New Jersey on 18 February 1957 at the age of 79.[12] He is buried in Princeton Cemetery.[13]

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