Helen Battles Sawyer Hogg (August 1, 1905 - January 28, 1993)
Born in Lowell, Massachusetts on August 1, 1905, Helen B. Sawyer grew up in
Lowell, got undergraduate education 1922-26 at Mount Holyoke College, studied
at Radcliffe College (1926-31), worked at Dominion Astrophysical Observatory,
Victoria, B.C. (1931-35) as unpaid volunteer and at David Dunlap Observatory
(1935-93) in various academic positions.
In 1930 she married Frank Hogg, a fellow student and astronomer. They had
three children, Sally, David and James. In 1946, Frank became director of the
David Dunlap Observatory, a post he held until his sudden death in 1951.
In 1985, she married F.E.L. Priestley, Professor Emeritus of English at the
University of Toronto, who died 1988.
Helen Sawyer Hogg's work focussed on globular clusters, in particular the
variable stars within them. She published more than 200 papers, the
Catalogues of Variable Stars in Globular Clusters, and a number of
historical articles, mostly in the Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society
of Canada, JRASC, and was active member in a number of professional societies.
Professor Helen B. Sawyer Hogg Priestley passed away on January 28, 1993 in
Richmond Hill, Ontario.
Already during her lifetime, she had been honored by the astronomical
community by naming asteroid (2917) Sawyer Hogg in 1984; it had been discovered
on September 2, 1980 by E. Bowell at Anderson Mesa and provisionally designated
On May 20, 2004, she was included into the Canadian Science and Technology Hall
of Fame in Ottawa.
When researching globular cluster publications, Helen recovered a longly
forgotten letter by
(Sawyer Hogg 1947,
Sawyer 1948), in Bode's Jahrbuch for
1786, in which he disclaims his discovery of
M102 and lists four newly discovered deepsky
objects which she proposed to be added to the
NGC 4594 as M104 (already added by
Camille Flammarion in 1921),
NGC 3379 as M105,
NGC 4258 as M106,
and NGC 6171 as M107.
Out of Old Books. Essays on the History of Astronomy by Helen Sawyer Hogg,
by Robert H. van Gent
Helen Sawyer Hogg 1905-1993, Obituaries and other items
at the University of Toronto Astronomy and Astrophysics Library
- Helen Sayer Hogg, 1947.
Out of Old Books-Catalogues of Nebulous Objects in the Eighteenth Century.
Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 41, p. 265-273
- Sawyer, Helen B., 1948.
Méchain's additions to Messier's catalogue.
Astronomical Journal, Vol. 53, p. 11 (01/1948)
[Note she used her maiden name only in this publication, though married at
that time longly]
- Christine Clement and Peter Broughton, 1993.
Helen Sawyer Hogg, 1905-1993.
Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 87, pp. 351-356
- Christine Clement, 1993.
Helen Sawyer Hogg, 1905-1993.
Journal of the American Association of Variable Star Observers, Vol. 22,
- Judith L. Pipher, 1993.
Helen Sawyer Hogg (1905-1993).
Publications of the Astronomical SDociety of the Pacific, Vol. 105,
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