Legendary Astronomer Maarten Schmidt’s Death at 92 Announced
News of professor of Astronomy Emeritus at Caltech Maarten Schmidt‘s death at the age of 92 was announced on September 17, 2022. The passing of Schmidt has brought sadness and left the family mourning and agonizing.
Maarten was abrn in Groningen, The Netherlands, in December 28, 1929. He studied with Jan Hendrik Oort. Schmidt earned his Ph.D. degree from Leiden Observatory in 1956.
In 2008, Schmidt was a co-recipient, with Donald Lynden-Bell, of the inaugural Kavli Prize for Astrophysics. In 1959, Schmidt emigrated to the U.S. and went to work at the California Institute of Technology.
In the beginning, Schmidt worked on theories about the dynamics of galaxies and mass distribution. Then he began a study of the light spectra of radio sources.
Using the 200-inch reflector telescope at the Palomar Observatory, he identified the visible object corresponding to one of the radio sources, known as 3C 273.
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Maarten Schmidt‘s Death Breaks Hearts
Dutch-born American astronomer Maarten Schmidt‘s death was confirmed but his cause of death has not been announced. May he rest in peace.
Schmidt was mainly known for his discovery of quasars and his measurement of their great distances from Earth.
He was the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Bruce Medal (1992); the Kavli Prize for Astrophysics (2008); the James Craig Watson Medal (1991); the Henry Norris Russel Lectureship (1978); the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (1980); and the Helen B. Warner Prize (1964).
Maarten was also on the cover of Time magazine on March 11, 1966. Schmidt is survived by his three daughters: Marijke, Anne, and Elizabeth.
After the sad news of Maarten Schmidt‘s death was revealed, his friends and teammates quickly flooded social media with tribute messages. Many fans also took to Twitter to pay touching tributes to him.
“So sad to hear that the great Maarten Schmidt has passed away at the age of 92. He discovered quasar and defined quasar astronomy and quasar astronomer. His picture on the cover of Time magazine in 1966, redshifting to the edge of the Universe,” Xiaohui Fan tweeted.
Matthew Hunt wrote: “Rest in peace, Maarten Schmidt, discoverer of quasars. He was one of my grand-advisors (he advised Don Schneider, my undergrad advisor) and was still in the office regularly when I was at Caltech. He was kind and generous with his knowledge.”
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