John J. Hillman, a dedicated NASA civil servant, spectroscopist, astrophysicist, planetary scientist, and mentor, died on February 12, 2006 of ocular melanoma at his home in Columbia, Maryland. His professional and personal interests were wide-reaching and varied, and he devoted his career to the advancement of our understanding of the beauty and wonder in the world around us. His love of nature, art, and science made him a true Renaissance man.
All Posts by Crystal M. Tinch
For Ellen Dorrit Hoffleit, who died on 9 April 2007 in New Haven, Connecticut, shortly after her 100th birthday, World War II, in which she did at least her fair share of the work, was "the war," but she also lived through World War I ("the Great War" until she was well into her 30s), Korea, Vietnam, the first Gulf War, and (we hope) most of Iraq.
Michael W. Johnson was born on 1 September 1949. He received his B.S. (Physics) from the University of San Francisco in 1971, his M.S. (Physics) from the University of Toledo in 1974, and his Ph.D. (Astrophysics) from the University of Pennsylvania in 1981. His doctoral thesis was entitled, "HEAO A-1 Observations of X ray Emitting Clusters of Galaxies," and he was an author of a 1983 catalog of X-ray emitting clusters.
Frank C. Jones, an emeritus theoretical physicist at NASA, died May 2, 2007 at age 74 after a struggle with a rare form of cancer. He died at his home in Silver Spring, Maryland, surrounded by his family.
Lyman Francis Kells was born in Seattle, Washington, on 19 May 1917. He earned a 1938 BS in Chemistry from the University of Washington. He received a PhD. in 1944, also from the University of Washington.
With the passing of Donald Alexander MacRae on 6 December 2006 at age 90, the astronomy community lost a visionary scientist and a great educator in the field.
Professor Per Maltby, prominent Norwegian Solar Physicist at the Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Oslo, Norway, died on 24 May 2006. Lung cancer was diagnosed in February, but he was expected to improve. Until the end of March he came to his office every day, got recent papers off the web, and followed his field closely as he had always done.
Timothy Pendleton McCullough Jr., 93, a retired research physicist who was a pioneer in the measurement of microwave radiation from planetary surfaces, died of cardiac arrest on 19 November 2004, at Inova Fairfax Hospital. He lived in Springfield, VA.
McCullough, who was principally a radio astronomer, published 22 scientific research papers while working in the Atmosphere and Astrophysics Division of NRL, from 1946 until his retirement in 1975.
The astronomy community lost a good friend when Tom Metcalf was killed in a skiing accident on Saturday, 7 July 2007, in the mountains near Boulder, Colorado. Tom was widely known for prolific work on solar magnetic fields, hard-X-ray imaging of solar flares, and spectral line diagnostics. He was often characterized as "one of the nicest guys in science."
Donald Edward Osterbrock, one of the leading figures of post-World War II astronomy, died suddenly of a heart attack on 11 January 2007, while walking near his office at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He was 82 years old. His initials spelled D.E.O. (God in latin!), but he was known simply as Don to his many friends and colleagues.
Bohdan Paczynski, Lyman Spitzer, Jr. Professor of Astrophysics, died at home in Princeton, New Jersey, on April 19, 2007.
Ralph Robert Robbins, Jr., died on 2 December 2005, in Kyle, Texas. His wife, Maria Elena Robbins, his daughters Julia Robbins Kelso and Stephanie Juarez Balles, his son Matthew Juarez, and five grandchildren survive him. Bob was on the faculty at the University of Texas from 1968 until his retirement in 2003.
Hugo Schwarz died in a motorcycle accident on 20 October 2006 near his home in La Serena, Chile. At the time of his death he was a staff astronomer at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory and President of IAU Commission 50 (The Protection of Existing and Potential Observatory Sites).
Professor Michael John Seaton, hailed as the "Father of Atomic Astrophysics," passed away on May 29, 2007. He was one of the few Honorary Fellows of both the American Astronomical Society and the American Physical Society, so honored for his monumental contributions to both physics and astronomy.
Gerald Frederick Tape, a distinguished science statesman and administrator, died on November 20, 2005. Jerry, as he was known to all, took on many diverse and important responsibilities throughout his life and dealt with them with quiet authority and grace. This was the hallmark of his life. The Board of Trustees of Associated Universities, Inc., which he served for many years, expressed this in its condolences, writing "Jerry personified integrity, thoroughness and dedication.
James H. "Trex" Trexler, Naval Center for Space Technology, a retired scientist and astronomer, with a 50-year career at NRL died of cancer on October 22, 2005, at the age of 87.
Born in Missoula, Montana (May 18, 1918), he grew up in Dallas, Texas, and attended Southern Methodist University (SMU) Engineering School. He combined his interests in astronomy and radio communication and operated the observatory on the SMU campus. Mr. Trexler had a most interesting and rewarding career at NRL, which resulted in notable contributions in scientific and technical developments.
Frank James Low was born on November 23, 1933, in Mobile, Alabama. He received his undergraduate degree in physics from Yale University in 1955, and his Ph.D. in physics from Rice University in 1959. He worked at Texas Instruments, NRAO, Rice University, and spent most of his career at The University of Arizona with Steward Observatory and the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory.
It is with great sadness that I report the passing of Peter Robert Wilson, a well-known and well-loved figure in the solar physics community. Peter was on the faculty of the Department of Applied Mathematics at the University of Sydney for 39 years, and Chair of the department for 24 of these years. He was the author or co-author of more than 80 scientific research papers and a book, Solar and Stellar Activity Cycles (1994), published by Cambridge University Press. He died suddenly of a heart attack, at his home in Glebe, Australia, in the early morning of 11 November 2007.
On 24 May 2008, Andrew Stephen Wilson passed away at the age of 61, in his home in Silver Spring, Maryland, from complications resulting from a painful spinal illness. Andrew was arguably one of the first truly multi-wavelength astronomers of his generation. His scientific work on active galactic nuclei [AGN] spanned the entire electromagnetic spectrum from the radio to the X-rays.
Heinrich Johannes Wendker, retired professor at Hamburg University, died on 3 April 2008 at the age of 69 at Reinbek near Hamburg, Germany. He was born on 30 June 1938 in Gimbte, near Munster, Westphalia, Germany. In 1958 he finished high-school and started his studies of mathematics, physics, and astronomy at Munster University. In 1960 Wendker joined the Astronomical Institute at the University and became attracted to the relatively new field of radio astronomy. In the same year he participated in a radio survey (at a wavelength of 11 cm) with the 25-m dish of Stockert observatory.