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The Kansas Atlas of Stellar Spectra: Frank Younger

The stalwart of the K.U. observatory spectrograph was Frank Younger. He obtained his M.A. in 1964, the subject of his thesis being The Kansas Atlas of Stellar Spectra (also see some pertinent remarks under 'Jack Hills' below). His work amounted to a collection of representative spectra similar to that of the Morgan, Keenan, Kallman Atlas of Stellar Spectra.

Frank was soon employed by the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory (abbr. DAO), where he has specialized in spectral classification, photographic and photoelectric photometry, determination of astronomical seeing and instrument design. Among his interesting projects he has helped design a photoelectric image monitor to site-test for observatories, in particular for a possible Saudi Arabian National Observatory, for which he set up and tested equipment, then selected and trained observers. Also, he is now (1998) the proprietor of a small company named Aurora Astronomical Services; its primary function is to carry out observations for individuals around the world who want to use the facilities of the DAO, but have difficulty getting there.

When we knew him at K.U., everyone thought of him as an orphan, but several years ago (1980) he received a phone call informing him that he had been adopted at age four days! Needless to say, he checked out things thoroughly. He states: "A swarm of original relatives descended; one mother, two brothers and three sisters. And here I thought I was an only child! Since then the mother and one brother have died." Frank has a wife, Sharon, one daughter and two sons. He suggests that the reader look up the internet site: islandnet.com/~the-gang (Ed. note: URL is now defunct). He plays the violin in two orchestras, and in a string quartet of which the viola player is the great-great-granddaughter of Charles Darwin. In addition he makes and repairs violins and bows, is a member of the "Motley Crew Motorcycle Gang," and writes poetry (semi-finalist in the North American Open Poetry Contest out of Owings Mills, Md.). For a poem about the exhumation of Jesse James in 1995, and also to the interesting account of the repair of a fiddle belonging to another Younger (named Jim) refer to the above web-site. Frank is 57 yrs. (1998) and is semi-retired.


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