Oort, Jan Hendrik

Oort, Jan Hendrik ōrt [key], 1900–1992, Dutch astronomer. He confirmed (1927) Bertil Lindblad's theory of the Milky Way galaxy's rotation. In the 1950s he and his colleagues used radio astronomical means to map the spiral-arm structure of the galaxy. Oort proposed (1950) that comets originate in a cloud of material (the Oort cloud) orbiting the sun at great distance and that they are occasionally deflected into the inner solar system by gravitational perturbation from the passing of nearby stars.

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