Harvard logo Smithsonian logo Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Publications and Public Affairs
[red bar] [CfA Home]  [CfA Search]  [CfA Help]

Other editions:
December 1998 | June 1998 | February 1998 | July 1997 | March 1997 | February 1995 | March 1994

Index of CfA Almanac stories.

The CfA Almanac

March 1994


In a truly international effort involving five observatories on three continents, the landmark CfA Redshift Survey has been extended to the sky above the southern hemisphere. With the completion of the southern mapping, centered on a region around the South Galactic Pole and including 3592 additional galaxies, the CfA Survey now represents coverage of about one-third of the sky to a limiting magnitude of 15.5 and contains some 14,000 galaxies. Most important, the striking bubble-like patterns of large-scale structure originally seen in the northern hemisphere appear to continue in the southern sky. Not only do both samples display apparent voids hundreds of millions of light years in diameter, but the southern sky has its own version of the "Great Wall," a giant, continuous string of galaxy clusters stretching across the map. The new survey observations were made at Cerro Tololo International Observatory and the European Southern Observatory in Chile, Complejo Astronomico El Leoncito in Argentina, the South African Astronomical Observatory, andthe Whipple Observatory in Arizona. Margaret Geller first presented the dual map above in a colloquium at CfA January 13. The formal paper--"A Complete Southern Sky Redshift Survey" by Geller, Luis da Costa, David Latham, Ron Marzke, John Huchra, and Mike Kurtz of the CfA, and five other colleagues--will appear in The Astrophysical Journal (Letters) March 20.


Project IOTA, a two-element optical and infrared interferometer at the Whipple Observatory on Mt. Hopkins, was successful on its first test the night of December 2-3, when it obtained "fringes" (infrared interference patterns--the interferometric equivalent of "first light") indicating the simultaneous receipt and combination of images of a single stellar source by the system's two separated telescopes. In fact, fringe-visibility measurements were made of two K stars, Iota Aurigae and Alpha Lyncis, and the variable M star RS Cancri, all at 2.2 microns. Using an initial baseline of 21 meters, Jim Benson, Nat Carleton, and Marc Lacasse resolved the K stars and obtained a tentative diameter of 17 milliarcseconds for RS Cancri. Additional observations by Benson (with Costas Papaliolios) were made (through January) at this baseline, but operations will expand in the next few months to include optical and with the two 45-centimeter telescopes moved to new positions. At theirmaximum separation, the IOTA telescopes have the potential for achieving an angular resolution comparable to a single telescope with a mirror 40 meters in diameter.

(An administrative note for those who like to keep their lines of authority straight: As of January 1, IOTA, formerly a Director's Office project, officially became part of the Optical and Infrared Division.)


A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between SAO and the University of Hawaii concerning construction, governance, and operation of a Submillimeter Array within the Science Reserve on Mauna Kea was signed in late 1993. Subsequently, SAO's description of its proposed site just below the 4200-meter summit received a favorable environmental assessment from the State of Hawaii. The next and final stage--the process of obtaining a construction permit--will begin near the end of February. The SMA fabrication facility in Westford, MA, where the six radio antennae will be assembled and tested before shipment to Hawaii, was completed and officially opened December 22.


SAO anticipates receiving a $240,000 grant from the Research Experiences for Undergraduates program of the National Science Foundation to provide internships during the next three summers for college undergraduates specializing in astronomy, astrophysics, and space science.

The interns will receive a stipend, as well as housing and travel allowances for their ten-week tenure at the CfA. Each will work directly with a CfA staff scientist on a specific project that could result in publication. Potential research areas include observational and theoretical cosmology, extragalactic and galactic astronomy, interstellar medium and star formation, laboratory astrophysics, and supernovae and supernovae remnants.

Ten students are expected in 1994, 12 in 1995, and 15 in 1996. Special efforts are being made to recruit women, minorities, and students from smaller colleges and schools lacking formal research programs in astronomy.

Kim Dow is Program Director; Christine Jones is Principal Investigator; Andrea Prestwich is a co-investigator; and Elizabeth Bohlen is providing special publications and graphic arts support.


The Private Universe Project, a planned series of six television documentaries for K-12 teachers, school administrators, and parents, is now in production by the Science Media Group of the CfA's Science Education Department.

Directed by Matthew Schneps, the series will explore student conceptions about the natural world and how certain ideas, rising from natural intelligence and intuition but differing from accepted scientific views, can sometimes block further learning. By recognizing the beliefs students bring to the classroom, teachers can help develop in them a deeper appreciation and understanding of science.

The series evolved from the award-winning video "A Private Universe" produced by the SED late last decade. The well-known opening sequence showed recent Harvard graduates explaining seasonal changes in ways they never learned in school. The video became a classic example of how personal misconceptions often persist despite education and instruction.

Recognizing that teacher collaboration is crucial to its success, The Private Universe Project is now actively soliciting participation by educators. A descriptive brochure was distributed to several thousand school science departments in January inviting interested teachers to serve as advisors during a series of live, interactive teleconferences broadcast nationally by the Massachusetts Corporation for Educational Telecommunications (MCET). As production continues, participants will be able to preview video segments and field-test teaching strategies. Colorado State University has agreed to offer college credit equivalents for practicing teachers who participate in the video conferences.

The project is supported by grants to HCO from the National Science Foundation and the Annenberg/CPB Math and Science Project.


SWAS Still on Schedule for 1995 Launch

Most of the hardware subsystems for the Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite (SWAS) have passed major milestones toward completion. According to principal investigator Gary Melnick, the primary and secondary mirrors have been delivered to the main contractor, as has the spectrometer produced by the project's German participants. The telescope structure has been fabricated and tested, the star tracker has been calibrated, and other units are nearing completion. Pre-flight integration of the SWAS instrument should begin in mid-February and continue through the summer, when the entire package will be delivered to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Launch is still scheduled for the first of June 1995. In anticipation of that launch, and the subsequent receipt of raw data by SAO, a SWAS Science Operation Center is being established in Cambridge.

No Longer "Great," AXAF Still Promises New X-Ray Views of Cosmos

Although originally designed to be the x-ray counterpart of the Hubble Space Telescope and the third of NASA's Great Observatories, AXAF was reconfigured last year into two separate components: AXAF-I (imaging) and AXAF-S (spectroscopy). Then, in September, the Senate canceled the AXAF-S, saving only one spectrometer for possible future flight aboard a joint US-Japan spacecraft.

Now, the good news. All of SAO's instruments and interests are part of AXAF-I, including the mirror system, for which Leon van Speybroeck is serving as Telescope Scientist. Inaddition, the very heart of the system, the High Resolution Imager, or HRI, is now under development in Central Engineering. Steve Murray is principal investigator for the HRI.

While still under the threat of last-minute budget-cutting, AXAF remains on schedule for a launch in 1998. In the meantime, SAO is establishing the AXAF Science Center that will receive, analyze, distribute, and archive x-ray data.

With a resolution of one arcsecond, comparable to most ground-based optical instruments, and a spectral sensitivity higher than the ASCA satellite (see related article that follows), AXAF will still be "great" for x-ray astronomy.


More than 50 Center for Astrophysics scientists were represented by papers or poster presentations at the 183rd Meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Washington, January 12-15, a gathering marked by elation over the first images from the repaired Hubble Space Telescope and gloom sparked by policy discussions on the somewhat bleak prospects for future funding. Highlights of CfA participation included papers on heavy metal production in supernovae explosions and results from the Spartan 201 solar coronagraph experiment and the ROSAT and ASCA x-ray satellites. CfA staff also conducted demonstrations of the SIMBAD and ADS on-line astrophysical database systems and assisted in operation of the AAS News Room. One of those highlights is described below:

Heavy Metal from Dead Stars: ASCA Views Supernova Synthesis of Basic Elements

Using a new x-ray satellite, a binational team of astronomers led by SAO's John P. Hughes discovered significant amounts of iron, calcium and other newly synthesized elements in two supernova remnants. The finding suggests a powerful new technique for observing the gaseous remains of these and similar supernovas--which are believed to be the major source of iron and other metals in the universe.

The two supernova remnants, designated E0519-69.0 and N103B, lie in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Astronomers have known about these particular remnants for about 10 years, but the new data result from the first observations of them by the Advanced Satellite for Cosmology and Astrophysics (ASCA), launched by the Japanese in February 1993. The x-ray telescope and detector were developed by US scientists at the Goddard Space Flight Center and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Hughes received a National Science Foundation grant to work as a guest observer on ASCA. He spent 6 months--from April to November last year--working with the ASCA team at Kyoto University.

The improved sensitivity now available with ASCA gives astronomers a better tool to directly observe the emission from many atoms, including oxygen, silicon, calcium, and iron, in the ejected gas of supernovas, for many hundreds of years after the explosion. Scientists believe the supernova explosions that formed the remnants E0519-69.0 and N103B occurred somewhere between 500 and 1500 years ago.

The ASCA observations of the two remnants revealed the presence of strong x-ray emission from silicon, sulfur, argon, calcium, and iron in both remnants. The relative intensities from the different elements showed that the composition of the matter emitting the x rays was quite unusual, and was most likely due to the presence of newly synthesized elements from the supernova explosions. Furthermore, the obvious presence of iron emission coupled with the lack of strong oxygen emission, suggests that these remnants belong to the select group of supernova explosions that produced the bulk of the iron in the universe, according to Hughes.

Hughes and colleagues suspected that the remnant E0519-69.0 would show evidence for highly enriched supernova ejecta based on earlier work by other investigators. "We were very pleased that the ASCA observation confirmed those findings," he says. "But we were completely surprised that the other remnant, N103B, showed nearly the same pattern of emission in its x-ray spectrum, which indicates that it belongs to the same class."

Further study of the new data should help astronomers refine current models of supernova explosions. "And, because of the ubiquitous presence of iron throughout the universe, we expect that these results will have a wide impact on astronomy in general," says Hughes.


Charles Whitney , a longtime member of the CfA now associated with the Science Education Department, was named the 34th recipient of the American Association of Variable Star Observers' Merit Award which recognizes exceptional contributions to that organization. Whitney was cited for "over eighteen years of service as editor of the Journal of the AAVSO; his leadership and thoughtful contributions to marked improvements in [its] content, appearance and production; and his efforts to fund and produce special editions..." The AAVSO, arguably the world's largest (or, at least, most energetic) pro-am astronomy organization, was once housed at HCO. Although now residing several blocks away on Birch Street, the organization retains strong personal and professional ties with Observatory Hill.

* * *

Andrea Dupree has been elected Chair of the Section on Astronomy of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). David Latham has been named to the Electorate Nominating Committee of the same section. James Cornell has been appointed to the AAAS' Committee on the Public Understanding of Science and Technology.

* * *

Robert F.C. Vessot has been elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society in recognition of his "measuring the gravitational red shift of an atomic clock, and for advancing high precision frequency standards and the art of frequency and time-interval intercomparisons between space and ground-based observers." The rare honor is bestowed upon only one-half of one percent of APS members.

* * *

Kate Kirby , Associate Director for Atomic and Molecular Physics, is the co-author of a provocative article in the December Physics Today. Prepared with Roman Czujko, manager of the Education and Employment Statistics Division of the American Institute of Physics, "The Physics Job Market: Bleak for Young Physicists" suggests that the current production of PhD's so exceeds the demand that curtailing the number of new PhDs trained may be the only means to restore the employment balance.

* * *

On November 3, Owen Gingerich presented "How Galileo Changed the Rules of Science" at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, as one of three lecturers in the school's "Distinguished Scientists Series."

* * *

Sallie Baliunas was selected as a Wesson Fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. During her six-month sabbatical, from November 1993 to April 1994, she is working with economists and social scientists on scientific issues that impact public policy, such as global warming and space research goals.

* * *

David Latham of OIR finished first in his age group (42 and older) in last fall's Transdanubia Ride, a prestigious European motorcycle race. Latham placed 9th overall in the 6-day, 2,000-kilometer trek, which begins in Germany and ends in Hungary.

* * *

Margaret Geller was recently named to the Board of Trustees of the Boston Museum of Science. (She also was featured in an article on women scientists in the November 1993 Scientific American and, with colleague John Huchra , the subject of the cover story of theJanuary Harvard Magazine. A lengthy article, "New Eyes on the Universe," in January's National Geographic also mentions the duo's research, and features a photo of Geller's former graduate student Ann Zabludoff , now at the Carnegie Institution.)

However, it was one of Geller's current graduate students, Graydon Hazenberg , who captured the lion's share of the media attention recently. As a contestant on the popular TV game show "Jeopardy!" January 11, the second-year student won a whopping $17,000. Defending daily champion Hazenberg returned the next day for a show that featured, coincidentally, the category "Smithsonian Institution." The questions (or answers, rather) included the location of the Hope Diamond, but, alas, no references to a certain Massachusetts observatory. Despite a strong showing, Hazenberg lost the game to a financial analyst with a more conventional hairstyle.

* * *

Eric J. Heller, formerly Professor of Chemistry and Physics at the University of Washington, has joined the CfA as a Senior Scientist at SAO and Professor of Physics at Harvard University. On November 1, he succeeded Alexander Dalgarno as Director of the Institute for Theoretical Atomic and Molecular Physics (ITAMP), an astrophysical think tank supported by the National Science Foundation to encourage young researchers and to inspire innovative investigations through a visiting scientist program. (See Harvard Gazette story attached.)

* * *

"Astronomical Formulas" (MathSoft, Inc., 1993) has been issued as an electronic companion to Martin Zombeck 's popular "Handbook of Space Astronomy & Astrophysics" (Cambridge University Press, 2nd Edition, 1993).

* * *

Belated congratulations to Russ Genet , a pioneer in the development of robotic telescopes and one of the founders of the Fairborn Observatory which operates the APTs at Mt. Hopkins, on his election as President of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific in 1993.

* * *

The third edition of that hardy perennial "Peterson's Field Guide to the Stars and Planets" by Jay M. Pasachoff and Donald Menzel has been reissued in both hardcover and paperback by Houghton Mifflin, Boston. Pasachoff, director of the Hopkins Observatory at Williams College, is a Visiting Scientist at the CfA this year. The late Don Menzel was director of the Harvard College Observatory in the 1950s and the original author of this popular guide for amateur astronomers, which has been continued, as well as periodically revised and updated, by his former student.

* * *

Valerie Connaughton , a Smithsonian Institution Fellow from Ireland working with the Gamma-Ray Group at FLWO, played a key role in the apprehension of two men accused of illegally shooting a black bear on Mt. Hopkins. Flagged down on the observatory road by a deer hunter who had seen two men stalk and shoot the bear, Connaughton called the Arizona Game and Fish Department. A game warden arrived at Mt. Hopkins in time to catch the men with the bear carcass in the back of their pickup truck. Both were arrested, with the actual shooter charged with taking big game out of season and other related offenses. Bear hunting is banned year-round in the Santa Rita Range of the Coronado National Forest where the FLWO is located.


Five SAO researchers--Jay Bookbinder, Robert Cameron, Philip Pinto, Jonathan Schachter, and Trevor Weekes--have been accepted as guest investigators for the highly competitive Phase 3 Research Program of NASA's Gamma Ray Observatory (GRO).

* * *

A persistent puzzle of solar physics is why the Sun's photosphere (its bright and visible surface) and chromosphere (the dense atmospheric region just above the surface) should be so much cooler than the corona (the Sun's thin but broiling extended outer atmosphere). Now, new evidence from Kitt Peak suggests the chromosphere may be even cooler than thought. High-resolution infrared observations of carbon monoxide molecules obtained minimum temperatures almost 1000 K cooler than any previously measured--at altitudes nearly twice as high above the surface. As noted in Science, however, SAO's Bob Noyes thinks the carbon monoxide clouds could be a transitory phenomenon in the solar atmosphere.

The six primary mirrors of the Smithsonian Institution-University of Arizona Multiple Mirror Telescope, as well as the secondaries and tertiaries, were recoated with reflective aluminum during the summer shutdown period. If all goes as planned, and the conversion of the telescope to a single 6.5-meter-diameter instrument is completed by late 1996, this could be the last coating for the existing mirrors. Meanwhile, grinding of the backside of the 6.5-meter blank began on Thursday, January 27, in the University of Arizona's Mirror Laboratory. The process of rough grinding (About 5 cubic inches per minute!), followed by fine polishing, is expected to take about two years.

* * *

Sallie Baliunas and a colleague elsewhere have found an intriguing correlation between changes in the length of the solar magnetic cycle and solar irradiance, thus suggesting a possible physical mechanism for the apparent link between solar cycle and terrestrial temperatures.

* * *

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is a participant in a collaborative industry-government-academic effort to explore the practical and possibly commercial applications of high-speed electronic networking. The National Information Infrastructure Testbed (NIIT), considered to be a vital step toward establishing a national "information highway," was formally announced in Washington, September 15. The first testbed activity is establishment of an "Earth Data System" for large-scale modeling of environmentalproblems, specifically a study of Amazon deforestation and its impact on neighboring oceans. Stephen Murray, Associate Director for High Energy Astrophysics, is serving as the SAO representative on NIIT.

* * *

A precise measurement for the diameter of Sagittarius A, a massive radio source at the center of the Milky Way suspected of being a black hole, was reported in Science, November 27, by a team of radio astronomers, including Mark Reid and James Moran of SAO.

* * *

The Galileo spacecraft, now on route to Jupiter, but crippled by an unfurled antenna, passed within 2400 kilometers of the asteroid Ida on August 28 and snapped a series of images weakly beamed back to Earth. The successful timing of the photographic encounter was due in part to precise positional data on the 33-kilometer-wide minor planet provided by 16 ground-based observatories, including the SAO-operated Oak Ridge Observatory in Massachusetts. Indeed, since the beginning of the Ida observation campaign in 1989, that facility has made 108 of the 333 total observations.

* * *

The mystery of a fast-flickering Seyfert galaxy, once thought to be the only galaxy with a predictable periodic x-ray luminosity cycle, has been solved by ROSAT. A stellar binary system along the line of sight between NGC6814 and Earth-bound observers had created a celestial optical illusion, according to a paper in the October 14 Nature by CfA's Fabrizio Fiore and a host of other investigators. They used ROSAT to untangle x-ray signals from the nearby but faint stars from the more distant but unusually bright galaxy.

* * *

"Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems II," the proceedings of the conference of the same name held in Boston in November 1992 with CfA support, has been published as Volume 52 of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific's Conference Series.


It's now official--and just in time for NAFTA: If you travel south of the border, you can tell folks you work at the "Observatorio Astrofisico del Smithsonian." That's us in the Smithsonian's new standardized and universally acceptable Spanish-language translations of the names of all Institution bureaus and major offices. The complete list is available from the Oficina de Informacion, ext. 5-7461, ask for Jaime.

* * *

Richard Larson of Yale University has agreed to chair the CfA Visiting Committee for 1994. That committee hopes to convene sometime in June for its annual meeting.

* * *

"Chaos in Quantum Mechanics: Experiment and Theory," a workshop organized by the Institute for Theoretical Atomic and Molecular Physics, was held at the CfA, September 30-October 2.

* * *

Jeffrey Hoffman, NASA astronomer-astronaut, presented a special colloquium on the repair of the Hubble Space Telescope to an SRO crowd in the Phillips Auditorium, January 21.The following week, 1993 Nobel Prize winner Joseph Taylor of Princeton presented the Sackler Distinguished Lecture in Astronomy, to another capacity audience. Both Taylor and Hoffman were Harvard graduate students; Alan Maxwell served as Taylor's thesis advisor.

* * *

The biannual "Children's Night at the Observatory" was held at the CfA in Cambridge on Friday, November 5, featuring a lecture on "The Death of the Dinosaurs" by Joe Caruso of the Oak Ridge Observatory. As part of an ongoing educational outreach effort, CfA and the Women's Program Committee sponsored the visit of 33 students and teachers from Boston's Mother Caroline Academy, a new private middle school for inner-city girls.

* * *

A new ramp providing wheelchair accessibility to Phillips Auditorium was completed in January thanks to the efforts of Pam Lodish and Charlie Hickey of HCO.

* * *

Five hundred experts from a range of disciplines -- including astronomers, science historians and horologists -- attended "The Longitude Symposium," held last November in Cambridge. Organized by Harvard's Collection of Scientific Instruments and the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, the four-day conference featured an afternoon at the CfA. Following a lecture by Robert Vessot on atomic clocks, participants toured the Maser Lab, the Micro-Observatory, and the Great Refractor.


"New Vistas in Astronomy," the 24th annual series of free public lectures on astronomy and astrophysics presented by the Whipple Observatory, was held in Green Valley, AZ, onconsecutive Tuesdays, January 18 through February 8. This year's speakers included Trevor Weekes, Fred Chaffee, Nelson Caldwell, and Craig Foltz.

* * *

Quarterly "Star Parties" for residents of Southern Arizona were held at the Whipple Observatory Visitor Center in Amado on Saturday, October 23, and Saturday, January 29. The programs continue to be extremely popular, with nearly two hundred people attending the January event, including many from as far away as Nogales and Tucson. The free lecture and stargazing sessions are coordinated by FLWO Public Affairs Specialist Dan Brocious in cooperation with the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association, with presentations by staff members, e.g., Nat Carleton in October, Nelson Caldwell in January.

* * *

"The New Astronomies," a week-long study tour sponsored by The Smithsonian Associates and coordinated by the FLWO Public Affairs staff, will be held in Tucson and environs May 15-20. Participants will hear lectures by astronomers from the Whipple, Kitt Peak, and Steward Observatories and tour these and other facilities. Now in its 14th season, "The New Astronomies" is "the longest running program" offered by the Associates.

* * *

The first phase of exhibitry for the Visitors Center at the Whipple Observatory was installed over Veterans Day, with completion planned for early spring 1994. Among the items now on display are models of the converted MMT and of the camera/laser system once used in SAO's Satellite Tracking Network; an actual pyrheliometer used at Harqua Hala, Arizona, in the 1920s by former SAO director (and Secretary of the Institution) Charles Greeley Abbot; and a three-dimensional topographic map of the Santa Rita Range, including Mt. Hopkins and surrounding peaks.

Open-caption versions of all the Smithsonian-produced videos shown at the Visitors Center have been produced for the benefit of hearing-impaired visitors.

Although the rest of the exhibits, displays, and interactive activities are still to come, the Center is open to the public, and a record number of winter visitors ("snow birds") made their way to the basecamp, aided in great part by the fine road over the high desert from I-19. The reserved-seat bus tours of the mountaintop facilities, normally suspended from late November to early March, resumed in late January thanks to the unusually mild weather in Southern Arizona this season.


The September 30 issue of the Minor Planet Circulars included a record number (227) of newly christened minor planets--ten of which were named after CfA employees.

Honored in the sky are: John Eric Chambers, Allan Cook, Fred Franklin, Joan Jordan, Myron Lecar, Jonathan McDowell, Van McGlasson, Bob Stefanik, Steve Ward, and Barbara Welther.

The total number of current SAO employees holding the distinction of having a namesake in the firmament now stands at thirty.

The issue also noted a recent increase in the subscription rates for the printed version of the MPC's--the cost is now $20.00 for the regular (invoiced) rate and $13.00 for the special (non-invoiced) rate. Prices for the computerized version, which subscribers receive via e-mail, remain the same. E-mail recipients now also receive an extra bonus: the new "Minor Planet Electronic Circulars" (MPEC's), which contain more extensive information about near-Earth objects and unusual minor planets.


On December 7th, the Women's Program Committee (WPC) honored its two founding coordinators, Ursula Marvin and Martha Hazen, for their "outstanding contributions to the professional development and advancement of women at the CfA." Current WPC coordinator Kathleen Entler presented each woman with a combination clock, barometer, and thermometer, in recognition of their leadership and service to the CfA community as teachers, mentors, and colleagues.

"Through their work and example, they have expanded opportunities for women in scientific research and administration," said Entler. The honorees' names were also inscribed on a plaque, which will be displayed at an as-yet undecided location at 60 Garden St.

After receiving their awards, Marvin and Hazen shared some memories of the WPC's early years. February marks the program's 20th anniversary.

Marvin was selected by former personnel director Harris Rosenthal to be the SAO's Women's Program Coordinator in early 1974. The ground work for federal women's programs had been laid 10 years before, somewhat unintentionally by a Congressman Smith of Virginia. According to Marvin, while Congress was debating the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Smith made what he considered to be joke: "Well, you're talking about how you can't discriminate on the basis of race or color--why don't we add sex?" He thought he was being extremely funny, but nobody laughed, Marvin said, adding, "that's how sex discrimination came to be included in the Civil Rights Act." In 1967, the Civil Service Commission established the Federal Women's Program, and the Equal Opportunity Act of 1972 provided enforcement power for agencies to initiate such programs.

Like her cohorts at other federal institutions, Marvin's role was to serve as an advisor and help develop policy for career development, upward mobility and other items of concern for women. To Marvin, the most important part of the job was "consciousness raising." One of her first projects, a survey of SAO employees, revealed that only 24 percent of the 303 employees were women, and most were below the GS-11 level. There were 152 men above GS-11 and only 11 women. Of the scientific staff, there were 86 men--and six women! She brought her graphs to an Associate Director's meeting and told them that she expected improvements.

Hazen joined Marvin in October of '74, as a WPC representative for the HCO. Statistics for the Harvard side of the CfA, she reported, were "just as bad." Although Harvard had one of the largest astronomy departments in the country and about 10 to 12 percent of the graduates each year were women, she noted, there were no tenured or even tenure-track women scientists on the faculty.

In 1975, Marvin and Hazen organized the first "Space for Women" symposium at the CfA, in celebration of International Women's Year. Designed to provide information about the rewards and difficulties of science and science-related careers, the two-day event included speakers who worked in a variety of capacities (as scientists, writers, administrators andlibrarians) and was aimed at female high school and undergraduate students. The booklet based on the seminar, "Space for Women: Perspectives on Careers in Science" proved to be very popular--over 10,000 copies were distributed. The symposium was repeated again recently, in the spring of 1992 and in 1993.

Said Marvin of the current WPC: "It's great to see that twenty years later, it's as vibrant and active as when it first began."

The awards were preceded by a celebration of the WPC Network, a program designed to welcome new female employees to the CfA. Two current employees invite two new employees to lunch, where they are introduced to the intricacies of the CfA and joined with the informal support network of Center women. Since its inception last February, there have been eight lunches involving 21 new female CfA affiliates.

IN MEMORIAM: Karl Henize 1926-1993

Karl G. Henize, an astronomer-astronaut and Space Age pioneer who helped establish SAO's original satellite-tracking program, died October 5 of respiratory failure while trying to climb Mt. Everest. He was 66.

Henize, a senior scientist at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, was on leave from the space agency at the time of his death. Although taken ill during the ascent of Everest, he died at the expedition's basecamp in China. At his request, he was buried on the mountain.

A native of Cincinnati, Henize received his BA and MA degrees from the University of Virginia and his Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Michigan. After completing his doctorate in 1954, Henize worked on the Michigan-Mt.Wilson Southern H-Alpha Survey in South Africa, conducting observational surveys of Southern Hemisphere objects, during which he discovered two novas in the Magellanic Clouds.

He joined SAO in 1956 as Senior Astronomer in charge of Smithsonian's fledgling optical satellite tracking program. In this position, he was responsible for establishing the global network of 12 Baker-Nunn camera stations and for coordinating observations of the first artificial satellites, including Sputnik 1.

Henize left SAO in 1959 to join the Astronomy Department of Northwestern University, although he maintained many ties with his former colleagues at SAO.

In 1967, he was named a scientist-astronaut in NASA's Manned Space Flight Program. In 1985, after 18 years of waiting, Henize became, at age 58, the oldest American to fly in space as Mission Specialist for the Spacelab-2 aboard the shuttle Challenger. Appropriately, on that flight, he operated the Infrared Telescope (IRT) experiment designed by scientists from SAO.

Henize retired from the astronaut corps the following year, but continued to work for NASA in the Space Sciences Branch of the Johnson Center. The recipient of the Robert Gordon Memorial Award and NASA's Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal, he was the author of more than 75 papers and was most recently concerned with studies of space debris.

In 1990, Henize returned to SAO (and NASM in Washington) to present two public lectures on his long personal and professional connection with the Smithsonian as part of a series celebrating the observatory's centennial.

He is survived by his wife, Caroline, and four children.


Ingemar Furenlid, who had been visiting the Solar and Stellar Physics Division since August on sabbatical from Georgia State University, died on Monday, February 14, of cancer. He was 59.

Furenlid's association with the CfA dates to 1958, when he taught a freshman seminar in astronomy at Harvard, after which he returned to Stockholm Observatory in Sweden. In 1969, he came back to the CfA after receiving a Menzel fellowship, a special research position named in honor of former HCO director Donald Menzel.

During his most recent visit to the SSP Division, Furenlid was engaged in research with Robert Kurucz, on spectral synthesis and the analysis of stellar spectra, and with David Latham on radial velocity studies of binary stars. As Associate Director John Raymond noted: "His lively interest and the breadth of his knowledge will be greatly missed."

He is survived by a son, Lars, of Long Island.


Some 45 members of the Whipple Observatory community--staff, friends, and families--celebrated SAO's quarter-century of research on Mt. Hopkins, Arizona, with a Potluck 25thBirthday Party at the home of Trevor and Ann Weekes on October 30. Highlight of festivities was the ceremonial opening of a file box filled with notes, photos, project reports, official memos and other memorabilia of the past, including an Irish flag that once flew above Hopkins. (For a review of the mountain's administrative and scientific history see the article by Dan Brocious in the Autumn 1993 Smithsonian Institution Research Reports.) A preview of the Mt. Hopkins 25th Anniversary T-shirt on sale at the FLWO Visitor center in Amado is available here.


A series of "administrative tutorials" sponsored by the Women's Program Committee given in late 1993 and early 1994 provided both CfA newcomers--and baffled long-termers--new insights into the arcane workings of the administrative departments and some guidelines on how to use their services.

With the participation and support of associate directors, SAO department managers, division administrators, the CfA Library, and HCO administration, the Workshop Series featured seven presentations on administrative procedures and one presentation on technical support services.

Beginning in Spring 1993 with a presentation on SAO Travel, the series continued with two presentations on the SAO Controller's Office describing the accounting and budget groups; a presentation on SAO Contracts and Procurement, with a focus on SAO Purchasing; and a presentation on the HCO Administrative Office.

Last fall, the series returned with a second presentation on SAO Contracts and Procurement, this time concentrating on proposal preparation, contract and grant administration, and property management.

Other programs included a presentation on SAO Human Resources and a three-part presentation on CfA Technical Services Departments by the SAO Publications Department, the SAO Computation Facility, and the Wolbach Library.

The presentations were open to all members of the CfA community and were well attended, with audiences ranging from 30-60 persons. Many members of the audience expressed thanks for the chance to interact personally with department managers and their staffs and to learn more about the functions and operations of each department.

The WPC also worked with each department to develop a guide to its services. Currently available are guides to "Travel at SAO for Administrators and Travelers," "SAO Controller's Office," "SAO Contracts and Procurement," "CfA Technical Service Departments: Computation Facility, Wolbach Library, and Publications." (Copies of the "Harvard University Guide for Sponsored Project Administrators" were also distributed.) "A Guide to SAO Human Resources" is expected in March. If you would like more information about any of these departments, or would like a copy of a specific guide, please contact the relevant department.


On September 13, three CfA employees received Smithsonian Institution awards for their "outstanding contributions to safety." Jon Chappell, HEA, Chair of the Lab Safety Committee, was cited for his leadership and contributions to the Committee, for changing cumbersome hazardous waste procedures, and for establishing priorities for the safety training program. HCO Building Superintendent Charles Hickey received the award in recognition of his unflagging commitment to the safety of facilities at 60 Garden Street, which included improving darkroom ventilation, removing asbestos, and installing ceiling tiles, to name a few of his accomplishments. William Parkinson, AMP, was recognized for his full-scale cleanout of the PG07 lab, which entailed getting rid of debris and unused chemicals left by previous generations of occupants, and improving chemical storage.

The CfA environmental police: from left to right: Kathryn Makos, Diana Furey, Gary Ridgeway (all from SI's Office of Environmental Management and Safety); Peter Bochnak and Rob MacCormick, of Environmental Health and Safety at Harvard. Front (L to R): Marion Aymie, HR; Karen Lawley, HR; and Pamela Lodish, HCO Business Office. (Photo by Julie Corliss)

And, on October 12, at an informal presentation in Arizona, Dewayne Kurtenbach received an SAO safety award recognizing his nearly two decades of service as safety officer at FLWO.


Olaf Vancura , HEA, wife Kathy and daughter Andrea, are proud to announce the birth of Sasha Elizabeth Vancura, who arrived at 2:25 am on January 26. Sasha, who weighed in at 7 lbs. 14.5 oz, and family are all doing fine.

* * *

A warm welcome to the following new CfA employees, including Thomas Aldcroft , an astrophysicist in HEA; William Battaglia , a scientific instrument maker in the model shop; James Buckley , a physicist at FLWO; Phyllis Carlson , a secretary in CE; John Chang , a computer specialist in OIR; Wayne Cheever , scientific instrument maker in the model shop; Thomas Etre , project associate, SED; Gregory Hanson , a computer specialist in SSP; Linda Hough , an administrative clerk in the DO; Michael Hurst , an accountant in CO; Michael Juda , astrophysicist in HEA; Edward Lacey* , a computer specialist in CO; Patricia Mailhot , a systems and document control specialist in CE; Nicole Midgley , a technical secretary in HEA; Marquita Minot-Jackson , project associate, SED; Amy Mossman , an astrophysicist in SSP; Paul Okun , an electrical engineer in CE; Mark Ordway , a mechanical engineer in CE; Eduardo Oteiza , a physicist in R&G; Roger Plante , an antennae fabricator in R&G; Paul Plucinsky , an astrophysicist in HEA; John Polizotti , a mechanical engineer in CE; Shomak Raychaudhury , an astrophysicist in HEA; Sylvia Ruiz, a secretary in HR; Joseph Swider , a program manager in HEA; Eugene Tsiang , an astrophysicist in HEA; Zhong Wang , an astronomer in OIR; David Weaver , an electrical engineer in CE; Robert Zacher , a computer programmer in HEA; Jiahong Zhang , an astrophysicist in HEA.

And a fond farewell to: Putnam Borden* , HR; Paul Marteniz , HEA; Michael Rothman , CE, and Joe Singarella , Ed and Pub.

* What do these two individuals have in common with 13 other CfA employees? Read on...


As Nancy Adler noted at Put Borden's retirement party, she and Put and a select group of other employees (most recently, Ed Lacey), share an unusual distinction: They all once worked at SAO, left for personal or professional reasons, and then returned. Others in that category include: Dale Alianiello , Nick Alianiello , Bruce Dias , Bruce Gregory , Roger Hauck , Rob Hewett , Joyce Janjigian , Ed Kellogg , Marty Levine , Lorayne Mohammed , Janis Panttila , and Peter Sozanski .


The 3700th number in the CfA Preprint Series--"The Einstein Database of IPC X-ray Observations of Optically and Radio Selected Quasars"--was issued in September, a fitting milestone for a series that had begun twenty years before with the formation of the joint Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Anne Omundsen of Publications, someone who was there at the beginning, reflects on two decades in the paper trade:

"Interstellar Abundances: Gas and Dust," by George B. Field, was the first; "Radial Velocities of Very Low Mass Stars and Candidate Brown Dwarf Members of the Hyades and Pleiades" by John R. Stauffer et al., is the most recent. But, in the meantime, since 1973, when the CfA Preprint Series was instituted by George Field, more than 3800 titles have been contributed by the CfA's scientific staff.

Interestingly, shortly before the advent of the Series, also under way in the editorial section of Publications was the task of compiling the collected works of former director, Fred Whipple. This undertaking resulted in two volumes, each the size of unabridged dictionaries, and required the arrangement of scores--more than 2000 pages--of reprints reflecting his contributions to astronomical literature to that point.

In fact, during the 50's and 60's, "reprints" (such as those found in Whipple's compilation) were the standard. Copies were ordered when galleys of articles were returned and were pulled at the same time that a journal was published. Thus, the time from submission of an article to a main journal--taking into account the refereeing, revising, typesetting, galley-proofing, and printing--often extended to a year or more. Receipt of reprints followed--sometimes several months later--and their distribution was both selective and spotty. Indeed, reprints often simply repeated the same distribution channels of the professional journals; with the result that remotely located institutions and individuals were overlooked.

With the advent of preprints, although it still took several months after submission for papers to appear in the literature, advance copies were routinely distributed to selected coworkers usually at the time manuscripts were submitted to the journals. And, while their presentation was less elegant than the reprints produced by the scientific publishers, their lower cost, wider distribution, and timeliness were impetus for change.

Under the direction of Field, the CfA Preprints--clad in distinctive purple covers--became the major vehicle for the distribution of scientific information from the Center; and, today, 21 years later, the Series--still vibrant, but now crimson-covered--numbers 3802 titles.

Currently, authors are provided the first 200 copies, which are printed and mailed without charge. Copies in excess of that figure are supplied at cost for both printing and mailing. More than 200 lists, held by divisions and individuals, are maintained for their distribution. (A "Preprint Policy" is available from Publications and details all the guidelines.)

Since July 1991, Publications has also compiled The CfA Abstracts. This offering, distributed on a bimonthly basis to the local community and to individuals and institutions around the world, was developed to make the research results of the Center staff more widely available and to reduce, where possible, the costs of paper and postage for the CfA Preprint Series. It collects chronologically the abstracts of papers appearing in the Series during the previous two months and provides a table of contents arranged by author. Its distribution now totals nearly 800 and has allowed the number of extra copies of full-blown preprints printed to fill requests to be cut to a minimum of five.

So, although it has been overheard in the astronomical community that preprints are a bad way to do science, they are a large part of how astronomy has been conducted during the last two decades, especially at the Center. In fact, the number of papers submitted so far this year is 28, a number that suggests that 1994 may surpass the historical annual average of 180.

In the coming months, with the help of the Computation Facility and members of the High Energy Division, the department anticipates making the Preprint Abstracts available through the INTERNET: The logical next step in the rapid and widespread communication of Center research results.

Last modified on Tuesday, 10-Oct-2000 10:08:54 EDT
Comments or Questions? Contact www-admin@cfa.harvard.edu