Image: NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team STScI/AURA
Chances are you ve never heard of Allan Sandage, but the late astronomer was a major figure in 20th century astronomy, particularly known for his work on how stars evolve.
His posthumous paper correcting the historical record has just appeared in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.
Since the early 1900s, astronomers had plotted each star within a cluster according to their color versus their brightness.
Gamow and Adams had arrived at their insight based on a catalog of more than 4,000 stellar classifications and distances, prepared over the course of 20 years at Mount Wilson Observatory.
So Gamow s insight never led to any academic paper.
If this very real discovery of sub giants had been recognized at the time, we could have increased the speed at which stellar evolutionary theory was developed, Beaton said in a statement.