NASA gives posthumous award to Bahcall

January 11, 2006

NASA has awarded its Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal posthumously to acclaimed U.S. astronomer and astrophysicist John Bahcall.

Bahcall's lifetime of achievement included work on development of the Hubble Space Telescope.

He died in August of a rare blood disorder at age 70.

NASA Administrator Michael Griffin presented the medal to Bahcall's widow, Neta Bahcall, during a ceremony Tuesday at the 207th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Washington.

The Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal recognizes significant scientific contributions toward achieving NASA's missions of exploration and discovery.

"In his 70 years, John Bahcall was a legend in this community," Griffin said.

Among Bahcall's five decades of accomplishments was his groundbreaking work in the 1960s toward explaining the scientific mysteries of the sun. He later partnered with astronomers Lyman Spitzer and George Field to develop the concept that became Hubble, NASA said.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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