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Joy, Alfred Harrison

Born Greenville, Illinois, USA, 23 September 1882

Died Pasadena, California, USA, 18 April 1973

American spectroscopist Alfred Joy was the first to recognize that the T Tauri variables are very young dwarf stars and thus provide direct evidence of ongoing star formation, and the first to determine spectroscopic binary orbits for cataclysmic variable stars. Joy received a BA in 1903 from Greenville College, Illinois, and an AM in 1904 from Oberlin College, Ohio. The degree was in physics, but the greatest influence on him was unquestionably astronomer Charles St. John. Joy taught physics and astronomy at the Syrian Protestant College (later American University) in Beirut, Lebanon, during 1904-1914. His summers and sabbaticals were spent in Egypt (for the solar eclipse of 1905), at Oxford University and at Cambridge University (working on the Carte du Ciel in 1909 with Herbert Turner and Arthur Hinks),