Adela E. Ringuelet




Adela Emilia Ringuelet was born in La Plata, province of Buenos Aires, Argentina, on March 27, 1930. Coming from a family of several generations of renowned professionals, she was influenced by her mother and father’s forward-looking ideas that shaped her strong temper and high convictions.
She studied astronomy at the National University of La Plata (UNLP) and, in 1956, was the third woman astronomer to graduate in Argentina. She began to work on spectroscopy in the field of Be stars, focusing on 27 CMa, Pi Aqr, V923 Aql, and 48 Lib. She had outstanding participation in many IUE (International Ultraviolet Explorer) projects. Later, she became interested in optical and near-IR spectral regions. She explored different processes that could contribute to the IR emission excess in Be stars, such as the dielectronic emission of ionised atoms or possible contributions of a high-temperature region to the extended atmosphere. She also fostered her research team to develop theoretical works in radiative transfer, stellar winds and magnetic fields in massive stars. She published more than a hundred papers.

She was the unique co-founder woman of the Argentine Association of Astronomy in 1958. She worked at the Observatory of La Plata. Unfortunately, she suffered from the military dictatorship, being laid off from the Observatory, as did other notable Argentine astronomers. Soon, she moved to work at the Institute of Astrophysics and Space Physics (IAFE) in Buenos Aires (1976-1984). Back to the Observatory of La Plata (Faculty of Astronomy and Geophysics Sciences, UNLP) in 1985, she obtained a full-time Professor position in the Stellar Atmosphere course and became the head of the Stellar Spectroscopy Department. In addition, she created the research group "Models of Peculiar Stars" at the University of La Plata, which supported the training of numerous astronomer women in the country. She also contributed to disseminating astronomy in Latin America, mainly in Honduras. The Asteroid 1975 TK was named “5793 Ringuelet” as a tribute to their extensive collaboration.

Unfortunately, she passed away on April 26, 2023, when she was 93. Those of us who took our first steps in astronomical research under her supervision remember Adela, her contagious smile, her lectures on stellar atmospheres seasoned with lovely and funny anecdotes of her exchanges with renowned personalities from Astronomy (Chandrasekhar, Ambartsumian, Simonneau, and others), and more living earthly stories of her beloved kittens and puppies. We remember many tea-work meetings at her home, receiving us with a table full of sweets and chocolates, select cold cuts, and delicious loaves of bread. We recall her witty and, at times, dazzling debates and conversations with her husband, Jorge Sahade. Her expressions of astonishment and simulated anger that always ended in laughter gave us glimpses of unique and captivating personalities. We always admired her passion for astronomy, philosophy and literature. The firmness with which she supported her ideas and models, her simplicity and kind treatment, always warmth, her permanent support in our failures, and her excellent advice. Her memory will always be with us, lively and awake, with accurate comments, sometimes a little ironic, but always with incredible humor. Goodbye, Adela!

Past affiliation(s) within the IAU

  • Past Advisor of Commission 46 Astronomy Education & Development
  • Past Organizing Committee Member of Commission 46 Astronomy Education & Development (1979-1982)
  • Past Organizing Committee Member of Commission 46 Astronomy Education & Development (1976-1979)
  • Past Member of Commission 46 Astronomy Education & Development
  • Past Member of Division G Stars and Stellar Physics (until 2023)
  • Past Member of Commission 29 Stellar Spectra (until 2015)
  • Past Member of Division IV Stars (until 2012)

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