The Royal Astronomical Society offers its condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the astronomer Professor Jay Pasachoff, who has died at the age of 79.
Pasachoff began his career at Harvard, receiving his doctorate there in 1969, before moving to Williams College in 1972, where he worked for most of the rest of his life as Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy. He was best known for his work on solar eclipses, both as opportunities for research into the Sun, and as events for promotion to the wider public.
Many contemporary astronomers cite his influence on their own career paths, in inspiring them from a young age and sometimes in direct assistance with securing them employment.
Pasachoff won multiple awards for public engagement and education in astronomy, including the Education Medal of the American Astronomical Society, the Prix Jules Jannsen of the Société Astronomique de France, and the Klumpke-Roberts Award of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1977.
President of the Royal Astronomical Society Professor Mike Edmunds said: “Jay Pasachoff was a noted researcher, author, historian of astronomy and educator, with a great record of bringing his enthusiasm for science to the public. His passion for observing solar eclipses inspired us all.”