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Professor Don Taylor

1960s Steward Astronomer Donald Taylor Has Passed Away

Retired Nebraska-Lincoln professor Donald Taylor has passed away at age 87. Both pictures HERE and HERE are courtesy of the University of Nebraska. In the late 1960s, three young astronomers at Steward, Don Taylor, John Cocke, and Mike Disney, discovered optical pulsations from the Crab Nebula. The 50th anniversary of that event recently passed (see the last paragraph).

Dr Taylor's obituary can be seen HERE. We pass on our best wishes to his family and colleagues.

We would like to quote a paragraph from his obituary showing his dedication for viewing the night sky: "Don’s passion for the skies was undeniable, and for decades, he was a neighborhood fixture, searching the night sky with homemade telescopes and inviting anyone interested to join him. To have darker skies in the city, he invented a tool, essentially a light bulb on a pole, to trick the street lights to shut off. It brought Don great pride and joy to share a view of the majestic rings of Saturn or a pristine image of the craters of the moon through one of his telescopes."

Links to two stories about the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the optical counterpart of the Crab can be found HERE and HERE. A link to the 50th anniversary Steward public lecture can be found HERE.

 

(2020 June 8)