Today Google dedicated its famous Doodle to celebrate the birth anniversary of Belgian astronomer, Georges Lemaitre. It would have been the 124th birthday of the famed astronomer who was best known for formulating the modern Big Bang Theory in 1927. Lemaitre described the beginning of the universe as a 'burst of fireworks', and believed that the big bang was the beginning of time, taking place on a 'day without yesterday.' His proposal was observationally confirmed soon afterwards by Edwin Hubble.
Born on 17 July 1894 at Charleroi, Belgium, Georges Henri Joseph Edouard Lemaitre was not only a catholic priest but also an astronomer and professor of physics at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium. He referred to the Big Bang Theory as "hypothesis of the primeval atom" or the "Cosmic Egg".
Georges Lemaitre started studying to be a civil engineering however his education was interrupted when he went to serve as an artillery officer in the Belgian army for the duration of World War I, at the end of which he received the Military Cross with palms. Post the war, Georges Lemaitre completed his education from various colleges and in 1925 he returned to Belgium and became a part-time lecturer (and later a full-time professor) at the Catholic University of Leuven, where he remained for the rest of his career.
Georges Lemaitre received the highest Belgian scientific distinction, the Francqui Prize, in 1934. He was elected a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in 1936, and remained an active member until his death.
He died on 20 June 1966, shortly after having learned of the discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation, which provided further evidence for his own intuitions about the birth of the universe.
Georges Lemaitre's work became widely regarded around the world and became very well known for his theories. Google's dedication today is a thank you to one of the brightest minds to have walked on earth.
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