Great Debate

In astronomy, the Great Debate, also called the Shapley–Curtis Debate, was an influential debate between the astronomers Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis which concerned the nature of spiral nebulae and the size of the universe. The basic issue under debate was whether distant nebulae were relatively small and lay within our home galaxy or whether they were large, independent ones. The debate took place on 26 April 1920, in the Baird auditorium of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. The two scientists first presented independent technical papers about "The Scale of the Universe" during the day and then took part in a joint discussion that evening.
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