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Seeger, Charles L., III


Born Berkeley, California, USA, 10 October 1912

Died Palo Alto, California, USA, 26 August 2002


Charles Seeger was a pioneer radio astronomer who launched the Cornell University program, worked with Jan Oort in Leide,n and was a pioneer in the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence [SETI] project.

The son of University of California musicologist Charles Seeger, Jr. and Constance Edson, Charles III was born into a musical family – folk singer Pete Seeger was a brother – but showed early interest in radio and was a serious amateur radio operator. He studied electrical engineering at Cornell, taking a BS in 1946 and joined the School of Electrical Engineering as an assistant professor. There, he collaborated with Ralph Williamson and Donald MacRae to develop radio astronomy. Solar monitoring began in 1948 with an ex-army radar set and a Dicke radiometer operating at 205 MHz. Observations along the galactic plane were made at the same frequency. Seeger