Dr. Richard Brent Tully
The Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii
Featured Author: Richard Brent Tully
Richard Brent Tully received his B.S. from the University of British Columbia in 1964 and his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in 1972. After a postdoctoral position in Marseille, France, he joined the faculty of the Institute for Astronomy (IfA) at the University of Hawaii and has remained there to the present.
Dr. Tully is one of the fathers of modern observational cosmology. With Richard Fisher in 1977, he established the relation between the luminosities of spiral galaxies and the rotation rate of galaxies measured by the width of the 21-cm hydrogen emission line. This "Tully-Fisher relation" provides a powerful technique for measuring distances to galaxies which in turn provides an estimate of the age of the Universe. Over many years, he has systematically assembled information about the properties of galaxies and the structure in the distribution of galaxies in the local Universe. A first attempt to present this information resulted in the publication of the Nearby Galaxies Atlas (1987) and the companion Nearby Galaxies Catalog (1988). He has used the measurements of galaxy distances to determine departures from the cosmic expansion, assumed to result from the gravitational influence of dark matter. He was a science advisor for the PBS Nova program Runaway Universe, and the PBS documentary What's Up in the Universe?
Dr. Tully has been honored as a distinguished alumnus of the University of Maryland in 2002. He is one of the five IfA astronomers recognized as being among the world's most cited and influential researchers in the space sciences. For more information, visit http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/~tully/.
- Tully-Fisher relation. Scholarpedia, 2(12):4485. (2007)
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