Jerry E. Nelson

Jerry E. Nelson

United States



A message from Neta A. Bahcall:

Dear Colleagues,

With great sadness I write to inform you that our dear colleague and friend Jerry Nelson passed away this weekend. Jerry was a Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at UCSC. His pioneering work in designing the segmented mirror telescopes changed observational Astronomy as we knew it, bringing it to the current age of large telescopes. Jerry was the designer and Project Scientist of the Keck Observatory, and he has been working in recent years on the design of the Thirty Meter Telescope, serving as its Chief Scientist. Jerry was the founding Director of the Center for Adaptive Optics, and worked to ensure that Keck, and eventually the TMT, have effective Adaptive Optics systems. For his pioneering contributions to telescope design and observational Astronomy, Jerry has been awarded the Kavli Prize for Astrophysics, the Benjamin Franklin Medal, and the Dannie Heineman Prize of the AAS.

The world has lost a pioneering Astronomer. Jerry's many colleagues lost a dear friend. He will be sorely missed.

Search individual members


IAU General Assembly 2018

IAU XXX GA Vienna Logo


How to Become a Member

IAU Office of Astronomy for Development

Office for Astronomy Development

Astronomy for Development 
Strategic Plan 2010–2020

Strategic Plan

Symposia and Meetings


IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach

Office for Astronomy Outreach

IAU Office for Young Astronomers

Office for Young Astronomers

International School for Young Astronomers

International School for Young Astronomers

Astronomy Outreach Newsletters and Events

Outreach Newsletters

IAU e-Newsletter
Volume 2017 n° 4

Latest e-Newsletter

Subscribe to the e-Newsletter


UNESCO-IAU Portal to the Heritage of Astronomy