Rodolfo H. Barba




We deeply regret to inform the community that on Tuesday 7 December 2021 our beloved friend Rodolfo Barbá passed away unexpectedly.

Rodolfo did his PhD thesis at the Universidad de La Plata under the direction of Jorge Sahade, was a close collaborator of Virpi Niemelä there, and then became a postdoc at STScI working with Nolan Walborn. Afterwards, he returned to Argentina and in 2002 he obtained a position at the Universidad de La Serena in Chile, where he was a professor and worked tirelessly to establish the astronomy group there. He eventually became the director of the astronomy department, a position he held until his untimely death. Rodolfo’s astronomical interests were many: he concentrated on massive binaries, leading the OWN survey, and he also worked on other topics such as interstellar extinction, LBVs, stellar clusters, young stellar objects, photometric surveys, and stellar variability in the Galaxy and in the Magellanic Clouds, among others. He made significant astronomical discoveries and, more importantly, he guided the career of his many students and was always ready to help his collaborators when they needed it, treating everybody around him with kindness and humor. He was passionate about astronomy and soccer, a Xeneize (Boca Juniors fan) by heart who always carried around a bombilla to drink mate and who enjoyed playing and singing tangos, folk music, and Silvio Rodríguez’s tunes with a guitar.

Rodolfo is survived by his wife, Julia, and his three sons, Dante, Tiago, and Simón and he will be deeply missed by his many friends.

Descansá en paz, pibe. Nunca te olvidaremos.

Jesús Maíz Apellaniz, Mónica Rubio, Roberto Gamen, Nidia Morrell and Sergio Simón-Díaz


Past affiliation(s) within the IAU

  • Past Member of Division B Facilities, Technologies and Data Science (2015-2021)
  • Past Member of Division G Stars and Stellar Physics (until 2021)
  • Past Member of Division H Interstellar Matter and Local Universe (until 2021)
  • Past Member of Commission B3 Astroinformatics and Astrostatistics (2015-2021)
  • Past Member of Commission G1 Binary and Multiple Star Systems (2015-2021)
  • Past Member of Commission G2 Massive Stars (2015-2021)

Areas of interest

4 - Astronomical data bases: 4.5 - Virtual observatory tools
8 - Stars: 8.4 - Stars: binaries, 8.30 - Stars: pre-main sequence, 8.36 - Stars: supergiants, 8.38 - Stars: variables, 8.40- Stars: Wolf-Rayet
9 - Interstellar medium (ISM), nebulae: 9.6 - ISM: dust, extinction, 9.9 - ISM: HII regions, 9.10 - ISM: Herbig-Haro objects
10 - The Galaxy: 10.15 - Galaxy: open clusters and associations, 10.17 - Galaxy: stellar content

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