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Neil Gehrels cover

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

Neil Gehrels

American astronomer (1952-2017)

1952   -   2017

country of citizenship: United States of America
languages spoken, written or signed: English
educated at: California Institute of Technology, University of Arizona
occupation: astronomer
award received: Henry Draper Medal, NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal, Dan David Prize, Bruno Rossi Prize, Fellow of the American Physical Society

Cornelis A. "Neil" Gehrels (October 3, 1952 – February 6, 2017) was an American astrophysicist specializing in the field of gamma-ray astronomy. He was Chief of the Astroparticle Physics Laboratory at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) from 1995 until his death, and was best known for his work developing the field from early balloon instruments to today's space observatories such as the NASA Swift mission, for which he was the Principal investigator. He was leading the WFIRST (now called the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope) wide-field infrared telescope forward toward a launch in the mid-2020s. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Gehrels died on February 6, 2017, at the age of 64. On January 10th, 2018, NASA announced that Swift had been renamed the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory, in his honor.
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