U.S. astrophysicist Bohdan Paczynski dies

Apr 24, 2007

U.S. astrophysicist Bohdan Paczynski, renowned for his research into celestial phenomena, has died after a three-year battle with brain cancer.

Paczynski died Thursday at the age of 67, it was announced Tuesday.

The Princeton University scientist's pioneering efforts to develop the technique called gravitational lensing permitted the discovery of the first terrestrial planet found outside our solar system.

Despite widespread skepticism from other astrophysicists, he also championed the idea the still-mysterious events known as gamma ray bursts originated billions of light-years away rather than within the Milky Way galaxy. His theory was ultimately confirmed by observations.

"He was incredibly creative and original," said Michael Strauss, a Princeton professor of astrophysical sciences. "All his life he brought interesting approaches to interesting problems."

Paczynski received many honors during his career, including the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society and the 2006 Henry Norris Russell Lectureship, the highest award of the American Astronomical Society. He was a member of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

He is survived by his wife, Hanka, and two children.

A memorial is to be held at Princeton at a later date.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Best of Last Week—Confirmed Earth-sized planet, testing twin paradox w/o a spaceship and news we all peak at 24

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Zynga founder Pincus leaving operations role

10 hours ago

Online game maker Zynga says company founder Mark Pincus is stepping down as chief product officer, less than a year after he was replaced as the company's CEO.

First-of-its-kind NASA space-weather project

10 hours ago

A NASA scientist is launching a one-to-two-year pilot project this summer that takes advantage of U.S. high-voltage power transmission lines to measure a phenomenon that has caused widespread power outages ...

US urged to drop India WTO case on solar

11 hours ago

Environmentalists Wednesday urged the United States to drop plans to haul India to the WTO to open its solar market, saying the action would hurt the fight against climate change.

Recommended for you

Not just the poor live hand-to-mouth

11 hours ago

When the economy hits the skids, government stimulus checks to the poor sometimes follow. Stimulus programs—such as those in 2001, 2008 and 2009—are designed to boost the economy quickly by getting cash ...

Math modeling handbook now available

14 hours ago

Math comes in handy for answering questions about a variety of topics, from calculating the cost-effectiveness of fuel sources and determining the best regions to build high-speed rail to predicting the spread ...

Archaeologists, tribe clash over Native remains

14 hours ago

Archaeologists and Native Americans are clashing over Indian remains and artifacts that were excavated during a construction project in the San Francisco Bay Area, but then reburied at an undisclosed location.

Male-biased tweeting

16 hours ago

Today women take an active part in public life. Without a doubt, they also converse with other women. In fact, they even talk to each other about other things besides men. As banal as it sounds, this is far ...

Developing nations ride a motorcycle boom

18 hours ago

Asia's rapidly developing economies should prepare for a full-throttle increase in motorcycle numbers as average incomes increase, a new study from The Australian National University has found.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Male-biased tweeting

Today women take an active part in public life. Without a doubt, they also converse with other women. In fact, they even talk to each other about other things besides men. As banal as it sounds, this is far ...

Not just the poor live hand-to-mouth

When the economy hits the skids, government stimulus checks to the poor sometimes follow. Stimulus programs—such as those in 2001, 2008 and 2009—are designed to boost the economy quickly by getting cash ...

Archaeologists, tribe clash over Native remains

Archaeologists and Native Americans are clashing over Indian remains and artifacts that were excavated during a construction project in the San Francisco Bay Area, but then reburied at an undisclosed location.