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Self-Styled Curmudgeon, W. J. Luyten, 1899-1994


Dorrit Hoffleit

Department of Astronomy

Yale University

New Haven, CT 06520-8101


Received: December 31, 1995




Willem J. Luyten (1899-1994), Ejnar Hertzsprung's first graduate student at Leiden, overcame many obstacles to achieve outstanding success in his search for white dwarf stars. When he was first employed at Harvard Observatory in 1923, only three white dwarfs had been recognized. Among the over half-million high proper motion stars he discovered, he found about 7000 white dwarfs. From age 15, his earliest observations were of variable stars, in which he maintained a lively interest all his life.


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