John O'Keefe

John O'Keefe Quotes

United States, Astronomer
October 13, 1916September, 8, 2000.

John Aloysius O'Keefe III was an expert in planetary science and astrogeology with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) from 1958 to 1995. He and his co-authors, Ann Eckels and Ken Squires, are credited with the discovery that the Earth had a significant third degree spherical harmonic in its gravitational field using U.S. Vanguard satellite data collected in the late 1950s. The "pear shaped" Earth as it was known became front-page news and was even the subject of a "Peanuts" cartoon. He was the first to propose the idea of a scanning microscope in 1956 and he is the co-discoverer of the YORP effect (short for Yarkovsky-O’Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddock effect), an effect resulting from sunlight which causes a small celestial body such as an asteroid or meteor to spin up or down.

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