Daniel E. Harris

Daniel E. Harris

United States



Dear Colleagues,

It is with great sadness that I tell you that Dan Harris passed away on Sunday, December 6. Dan was the High Energy Division's "in house" radio astronomer, having worked at several major radio observatories, including Arecibo and Westerbork, before expanding his wavelength coverage to X-rays and participating, first, in the Einstein project and then on the ROSAT and Chandra programs.

Dan began his career as a radio astronomer at Cal Tech. With his 1961 PhD thesis, "The continuous spectra of radio sources with particular reference to non-thermal galactic sources", Dan was Cal Tech's first radio astronomy PhD (see http://caltech.discoverygarden.ca/islandora/object/ct1:8936).

Over his career, Dan's scientific interests spanned supernova remnants, interplanetary scintillation, cluster magnetic fields and inverse Compton emission, radio galaxies, and AGN. Most recently, Dan was studying jets from extragalactic sources (see his Annual Review article "X-ray Emission from Extragalactic Jets" in 2006) and surveying the 3CR Catalog sources using Chandra.

Dan was a passionate and world-traveling astronomer. His adventures are legion - they include sailing across the Atlantic from Europe, in 1964, on a 36 foot trimaran (with Venkatraman (Rad) Radhakrishnan and Dave Morris), rafting down the Amazon with his wife Barbara, and climbing Mt. Washington with his entire family last year on his 80th birthday.

We remember Dan for his enthusiasm for all of astronomy and astrophysics. A memorial service will be scheduled in the Boston area sometime in the next few months.

-Charles Alcock Director, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Past affiliation(s) within the IAU

  • Past Member of Division B Facilities, Technologies and Data Science (until 2015)
  • Past Member of Division D High Energy Phenomena and Fundamental Physics (until 2015)
  • Past Member of Division J Galaxies and Cosmology (until 2015)
  • Past Member of Division X Radio Astronomy (until 2012)
  • Past Member of Division XI Space & High Energy Astrophysics (until 2012)
  • Past Member of Commission B4 Radio Astronomy (2015-2015)
  • Past Member of Cross-Division D-J Commission Supermassive Black Holes, Feedback and Galaxy Evolution (2015-2015)
  • Past Member of Commission 40 Radio Astronomy (until 2015)
  • Past Member of Commission 44 Space & High Energy Astrophysics (until 2015)

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