Franklyn Mansfield Branley was born in New Rochelle, New York, 5 June 1915, and died of natural causes in Brunswick, Maine, on 5 May 2002, just one month before his 87th birthday. He will be remembered by the hundreds of grateful students he so skillfully introduced to astronomy.
All Posts by Crystal M. Tinch
Horace Welcome Babcock died in Santa Barbara, California on 29 August 2003, fifteen days short of his ninety-first birthday. An acclaimed authority on solar and stellar magnetism and the originator of ingenious advances in astronomical instrumentation in his earlier career, he served as Director of Mount Wilson and Palomar (later Hale) Observatories from 1964 until his retirement in 1978. The founding of the Carnegie Institution of Washington's Las Campanas Observatory in Chile was the culmination of his directorship.
The announcement still lies in my inbox: "Lawrence Aller died last Sunday." On 16 March 2003, one of the world's fine astronomers passed away at the age of 89, leaving behind a legacy that will ripple as long as there are students of the celestial science, one that incorporated observation, theory, education, care, decency, and kindness.
Romuald Zalubas, a long-time member of the Atomic Spectroscopy Group of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, died of a stroke on June 27, 2003.
Raymond E. White, Jr., died unexpectedly at his home, in the early morning hours of October 12, 2004. Death appears to have been caused by severe diabetic shock. He retired from the Department of Astronomy/Steward Observatory in July 1999 with the title of University Distinguished Professor, after serving on the faculty of this institution for over 35 years.
Fred Whipple, one of the founding fathers of planetary science, died on August 30, 2004 just two months shy of his 98th birthday. The breadth of Fred's published research from 1927 through 2000 is quite extraordinary. Although his collected works were published in two massive volumes in 1972, shortly before his retirement, Fred's research contributions continued for another three decades - and another volume is planned.
James A. Westphal died September 8, 2004. He had battled a neurological disease related to Alzheimer's for the past year. He was 74.
Robert M. Walker, PhD, Professor of Physics in Arts & Sciences and a faculty fellow of the McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, died of stomach cancer Thursday, 12 February 2004, in Brussels, Belgium. He was 75. Walker worked on the frontiers of space research for more than four decades.
Bill Sinton, one of the pioneers of infrared planetary astronomy, died at his home in Flagstaff, Arizona, on March 16th 2004, at the age of 78.
John Beverley (Bev) Oke passed away of heart failure early on 2 March 2004 at his Victoria, B.C. home. Bev's insatiable scientific curiosity led to fundamental contributions in many areas of stellar and extragalactic astronomy, including the development of advanced instrumentation for the largest optical telescopes and the mentoring of scores of grateful students and colleagues.
Ben H. Moore, emeritus professor of physics, astronomy and earth sciences at St. Cloud State University, Minnesota, died 7 November 2003, in South Padre Island, Texas. Ben was born 18 March 1921, in Kansas City, Missouri, to Fraser D. and Cora R. (Hawkins) Moore. Though his parents provided a strong guiding influence on Ben's development, Ben's career was impacted most clearly by his work as a student and research assistant for Allen Basset (Ben's father-in-law) at Park College. This relationship turned Ben's early interest in chemistry and biology toward a focus on physics.
As director of the American Association of Variable Star Observers for thirty years, Janet Mattei led the organization through a series of major improvements and in the process, helped and influenced amateur and professional astronomers around the world. Having successfully tackled many challenges, however, Janet lost her battle with acute myelogenous leukemia on 22 March 2004.
Michael James Ledlow died on 5 June 2004 from a large, unsuspected brain tumor. Since 2000 he had been on the scientific staff of the Gemini Observatory in La Serena, Chile, initially as a Science Fellow and then as a tenure-track astronomer.
Michael was born in Bartlesville, Oklahoma on 1 October 1964 to Jerry and Sharon Ledlow. He obtained his Bachelor Degree in astrophysics at the University of
Oklahoma in 1987 and attended the University of New Mexico for his graduate work, obtaining his PhD while studying Galaxy Clusters under Frazer Owen in 1994.
J. (Jeannette) Virginia Lincoln died on 1 August 2003 of natural causes at age 87. She was a pioneer in space weather forecasting and was instrumental in establishing the World Data Center-A for Solar-Terrestrial Physics (WDC-A for STP) at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC). Lincoln received a U.S. Department of Commerce Gold Medal for Distinguished Service in 1973 for outstanding accomplishments and leadership.
Henry Emil Kandrup died on 18 October 2003 at his home in Gainesville Florida. Henry was a theoretical astrophysicist specializing in the application of chaotic dynamics to stellar systems. At the time of his death, Henry was a Professor at the University of Florida where he had taught for 13 years.
My friend and colleague, Charles Hyder, was a true physicist with a sound intuitive grasp of fundamentals in modern physics and the underlying mathematics. I admired his knowledge of the history of modern physics and quantum mechanics when we discussed contemporary problems in interpreting solar observations. He had the ability to present his ideas clearly and persuasively to both students and his colleagues. His insatiable curiosity about life in general led him to consider the effects of nuclear weapons development on the human race.
Elizabeth (Beth) K. Holmes died suddenly in Pasadena on March 23, 2004, from the unexpected effects of a long-standing heart condition. She was 30 years old. At the moment of her passing, she was at her computer comparing her theoretical models on the effects of planets on the distribution of zodiacal dust with some of the first observations from the Spitzer Space Telescope.
R. Glenn Hall died on 25 June 2004 following a battle with prostate cancer. His contributions to the determination of the frequency corresponding to an energy level transition in the Cesium atom led to the definition of the length of the second and formed the basis for precise modern timekeeping.
Glenn was born on 23 June 1921 in Koloa, Hawaii, and together with a brother and three sisters, grew up in Albion, Michigan. His father was a professor of political science at Albion College.
Thomas "Tommy" Gold died of heart disease at Cayuga Medical Center, Ithaca NY on 22 June 2004 at the age of 84. He will be remembered as one of the most interesting, dynamic and influential scientists of his generation. Tommy's paradigm-changing ideas in astronomy and planetary science, while original and bold, were also highly controversial. With his radical work on the origin of natural gas and petroleum, the controversy is likely to continue.
Professionals and friends knew him as Captain Bob; he was the captain of his airplane, Birdie, and of his observatory, Braeside. He was a man of many talents, and he incorporated those talents into his two main passions in life: flying planes and doing astronomical research.