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All Posts by Crystal M. Tinch

Frank K. Edmondson (1912 - 2008)

Hanging in the basement of Kirkwood Observatory on the Indiana University campus is a battered sign, dated Aug 31, 1932, announcing "Indiana Univ. Eclipse Station." While the path of totality passed well north of Bloomington, IN, where only 80% of the Sun's disk was covered, the eclipse made a lasting impression on the young Frank Kelley Edmondson, then an undergraduate student at Indiana University.

John W. Firor (1927 - 2007)

John W. Firor, a former Director of the High Altitude Observatory and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and a founder of the Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society, died of Alzheimer's disease in Pullman, Washington on November 5, 2007, he was 80. He was born in Athens Georgia on October 18, 1927, where his father was a professor of agricultural economics.

Robert H. Koch (1929 - 2010)

Robert H. Koch, emeritus professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of Pennsylvania, passed away at his home in Ardmore, Pennsylvania on 11 October 2010 after a brief illness. Bob was 80 years old and remained sharp and intellectually engaged with the astronomical community up until the onset of complications from a brain tumor.

Malcolm I. Raff (1940 - 2010)

In his seventy years, Malcolm Raff never did figure out exactly what he wanted to be when he grew up. The only son of lawyer Henry Raff and music teacher Ruth Raff (nee Marshak), Mal’s interests vacillated between the analytical and the artistic. Early skill as a pianist and trombone player competed for his youthful attention with amateur radio and astronomy, leading him to pursue a liberal arts education at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania, from which institution he earned BS degrees in math and physics in 1961.

Thomas J. Ahrens (1936 - 2010)

Thomas J. Ahrens, a leader in the use of shock waves to study planetary interiors and impact phenomena, died at his home in Pasadena, California on November 24, 2010, at the age of 74. He was the California Institute of Technology’s Fletcher Jones Professor of Geophysics, formally emeritus since 2005 but professionally active to the end.

Ralph B. Baldwin (1912 - 2010)

Dr. Ralph Belknap Baldwin died peacefully on October 23, 2010, at age 98. He was a Naples, Florida, resident since retiring in 1984 as Chairman of the Board of the Oliver Machinery Company in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Born on June 6, 1912, he graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.S. in 1934, an M.S. in 1935, and a Ph.D. in Astronomy (Physics) in 1937. He taught astronomy at the Universities of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Northwestern.

Brian G. Marsden (1937 - 2010)

Brian Geoffrey Marsden was born on 1937 August 5 in Cambridge, England. His father, Thomas, was the senior mathematics teacher at a local high school.  It was his mother, Eileen (nee West), however, who introduced him to the study of astronomy, when he returned home on the Thursday during his first week in primary school in 1942 and found her sitting in the back yard watching an eclipse of the sun.  Using now frowned-upon candle-smoked glass, they sat watching the changing bite out of the sun.

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