Illinois—Where Astronomical Photometry Grew Up
Barry B. Beaman
Michael T. Svec
Presented at the 100th Annual Meeting of the AAVSO, October 7, 2011; received January 21, 2012; revised February 2, 2012; accepted February 6, 2012
In 1903 Dr. Joel Stebbins joined the University of Illinois faculty as an astronomy instructor and Director of the University of Illinois Observatory. In 1905 he and F. C. Brown began experimenting with selenium sell photometry and developed the equipment and many of the photometric practices used then. Those practices formed the foundation on which present day photometry processes are based. This paper will trace the history of Stebbins’ career and his development of photoelectric photometry from 1903 to 1922. This story explains how Stebbins’ wife, May, caused a change in astronomical observing that continues today.