On May 1, 1992, Professor Emeritus of Astronomy Robert J. Wood died suddenly at age 75. Central Florida lost one of its great teachers of astronomy. He was the designer of Astronaut Hall and the professor of astronomy at Brevard Community college, Cocoa, Florida. Many thousands of students in the Cape Canaveral area went through his famous classes from 1964 until his retirement in 1984.
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After a long fight against prostatic cancer, Clayton A. Smith died on May 27th, 1993. His illness was first diagnosed in the early 1980’s, but a combination of his otherwise good health, careful medical treatment and a long determination on his part to remain active as long as possible gave Clayton many additional years of productive life.
Obituaries for Nicholas Mayall, extragalactic astronomer on the staffs of Lick and Kitt Peak Observatories, will appear in the Yearbook – The American Philosophical Society and in the Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences.
An obituary for Harold Masursky, planetary geologist and longtime staff member at the US Geological Survey in Flagstaff, will appear in approximately the 1994 issue of Geological Society of America’s Memorials.
Herman Lowell obtained his Masters Degree in Physics at Columbia University in 1939 and spent most of his career at the NACA/NASA Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio (1943-60), NASA Headquarters (1960-65), and various Defense Department contractors thereafter. At Lewis he specialized in computational solutions to fluid flow equations; later, he helped develop large database computer systems.
Research Professor Ilkka Liede died on the 29th of July, 1992. A great number of colleagues and fellow employees in Finland and abroad share the grief of his family and relatives. The feeling of loss is strong among the personnel of several Finnish and foreign research institutes who had come to know him for his efficiency, friendliness, and analytical intellect.
Eugene Leimanis, applied mathematician and celestial mechanician, was a longtime member of the Department of Mathematics of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC. He was born in Koceni, Latvia, the son of a teacher, and obtained a Masters Degree and First Prize in Mathematics in 1929 at the University of Latvia. During the 1930s he held a number of positions on the Unviersity’s faculty, the last being Docent of Analytical Mechanics and Theoretical Astronomy. After World War II he held several temporary positions and in 1947 obtained a Ph.D.
Pierre Lacroute passed away on 14 January 1993, a few days before reaching the age of 87. In 1946, shortly after the end of World War II, he was appointed Director of Strasbourg (France) Astronomical Observatory (succeeding André Danjon who was then taking up the directorship of Paris Observatory). Pierre Lacroute stayed in this position until his retirement in 1976. During the same period, he was also Professor at the Faculty of Sciences of Strasbourg Louis Pasteur University. He served also as Dean of this Faculty.
Obituaries for Zdenek Kopal, expert on close binary star systems and founder of the Astronomy Department of the University of Manchester (England), will appear in Physics Today and the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Goro Ishida, retired astronomer from the Tokyo Astronomical Observatory and President of the Herschel Society of Japan, died of a heart attack on the 27th of July, 1992 while visiting a temple on an island in Lake Biwa. He is survived by his wife Kazuko and sons Juro and Saburo.
An obituary for Helen Hogg, variable star astronomer, astronomy popularizer, and longtime staff member of the David Dunlap Observatory, will appear in the Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.
Robert (Bob) Harrington died on Jan. 23, 1993 after a short, but determined battle against esophageal cancer. He left his wife, Betty, two daughters, a sister and his parents.
Sol Genatt was for thirty years an astronomer for several federal agencies. Born in New York City, he was an aerial navigator during World War II for the US Army Air Corps. He obtained a B.A. in Astronomy at Cornell University in 1947 and began work in the Nautical Almanac Office of the US Naval Observatory. Later he worked in the time Service Division field station in Richmond, Florida, observing with a photographic zenith tube. During the 1950s he also worked in the Research and Analysis Branch of the US Army Map Service under John A. O'Keefe.
An obituary for Phyllis Freier, cosmic ray researcher and longtime member of the Physics Department of the University of Minnesota, will appear in approximately the December, 1993 issue of Physics Today.
Bob Davies passed from active to Emeritus status at the University of Pennsylvania in 1990. A skillful caver, mountain climber, and white-water adventurer, he died of a coronary attack while on a climbing trip in rural Scotland.
Bob was born in Lancashire, U.K. of working-class parents and earned his D.Sc. from the University of Manchester and Ph.D. from Sheffield. Having been on the faculties of Sheffeld and Oxford, he emigrated to the U.S. in 1955. Although remaining a British citizen, he spent the rest of his career at Pennsylvania.
Emily Hughes Boyce, a retired astronomer and widow of Joseph Canon Boyce, died in Waterbury, Connecticut, on November 11, 1992. Born in Oxford, Ohio, in 1906, she was the daughter of Ella R. and Raymond M. Hughes. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Miami University in Oxford, she held an MA from Radcliffe College.
Gustav Bakos was the first astronomer appointed at the Physics Department of the University of Waterloo (Ontario), and at the time of his death, although officially retired, was still doing some teaching and research in conjunction with colleagues in Czechoslovakia.
An obituary for Jan Oort, astronomer axtraordinaire and leader of Dutch astronomy since the 1920's has appeared in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Vol. 105, pp. 681-5 (by A. Blaauw and M. Schmidt). An excellent collection of papers on Oort's life and work is found in Oort and the Universe, edited by H. van Woerden, W. N. Brouw, and H. C. van de Hulst (1980). An autobiographical article is available in the Annual Reviews of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Vol 19, p. 1 (1981).
Eminent Armenian scientist and astronomer, Prof. Victor Ambartsumian (also spelled Ambartsumyan and Ambarsumyan), Honorary President of the Armenian National Academy of Science, died on the 12th of August, 1996. He was an honorary or foreign member of academies of sciences of more than 25 countries and held honorary degrees from many well-known universities.
Gerson Goldhaber was a leading particle physicist who turned his attention to cosmology in the latter part of career. He was the first person to assert from his interpretations of the data, and then report in professional meetings, evidence for the existence of Dark Energy. The evidence came from his study of supernova in the Berkeley Supernova Cosmology Project. In the words of Nobel laureate Sheldon Glashow, “His seminal contributions to our understanding of the smallest structures of Nature (particle physics) and to the largest (cosmology) have been truly remarkable.