Maarten Schmidt

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Maarten Schmidt (born December 28 1929) is a Dutch astronomer who discovered objects in the universe called quasars.

Schmidt was born in Groningen (The Netherlands) and studied with Jan Hendrik Oort. After his thesis, he went in 1959 to the United States to work at the California Institute of Technology. In the beginning he worked at theories about the mass distribution and dynamics of galaxies. After a while he studied lightspectra of radiosources. In 1963 he discoverd the first quasi stellar object or quasar. These are starlike objects with a normal hydrogen spectrum, but with a giant redshift. He discovered that these objects were at great distance from the earth, which meant they existed only when the universe was very young. This meant the end of the steady state theory of Fred Hoyle.

He won the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1980. He won the James Craig Watson Medal in 1991 and the Bruce Medal in 1992.Template:Astronomer-stub

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