|Olaf Hassel was born on May 12, 1898 near Kongsberg, Norway. His family lived on a farm. When Mr. Hassel was 1 year old his family found out he was deaf. He went to the Christiania Public School for the Deaf. At school he learned to be a designer. He was very interested in art. However, his family needed him to work at home on their farm. He decided to help his family.|
|Mr. Hassel became interested in astronomy during school. He continued to study stars after he left the school. Finally, he joined the Nordic Nova Society. The Nordic Nova Society is a group of people that study stars. Mr. Hassel was given his own stars to study. He was still not happy because was not given very big area to study.|
|He was very excited when the farm got new electric lights because he could read his books at night. He studied books and taught himself how to find stars. One night he was looking at the stars using glasses. He saw a star no one had ever seen before.|
It was called a Reids comet. He studied the stars for eighteen more years. He did not find anything new.
One night he was studying the stars and he saw something he
had not seen the night before. It was a
comet. He had to wait until the next
day to tell the astronomical observatory because he could not use a phone. The comet was
named after him and two other astronomers who had also seen it. It was named
After this Mr. Hassel started working at the
Meteorological Institution of Oslo. He liked to take pictures of stars and
comets and then study the pictures. He was very good at it. The next thing Mr.
Hassel discovered was a nova. It was named "Nova Hercules 1960 (Hassel)".
|Before Hassel died five close family members died within two years and he was sad. Mr. Hassel died of an illness caused by his sadness on August 15, 1972.|
Association of Amateur Astronomers
Honorary Member of the Norweigan Astronomical Society
American Association of Variable Star Observer's award
King of Norway's Gold Metal of service
Anda, Rune (1997). Olaf Hassel: The
deafborn Norweigian farmerboy with a world reputation among astronomers
Lang, H. G., & Meath-Lang, B. (1995). Olaf
Hassel. In A Biographical Dictionary: Deaf Persons in the Arts