Like news of a solar eclipse, the Nov. 20 passing of Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy Jay Pasachoff made headlines in media outlets across the country, including The New York Times, The Boston Globe and The Economist—all of which highlighted the astronomer’s passion for traveling the globe to study major celestial events. Those in the Williams community who knew him well also paid tribute to his legacy and life’s work, which included observing 74 solar eclipses, 36 of them total.
Kevin Reardon ’92, a scientist at the National Solar Observatory and an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, and Dan Seaton ’01, a principal scientist in the department of solar and heliospheric physics at the Southwest Research Institute, honored their former professor by completing an article about sunspots that Pasachoff began prior to his death and publishing it in Physics Today.
And at the monthly faculty meeting in February, Karen Kwitter, the Ebenezer Fitch Professor of Astronomy, Emerita, read a tribute to her friend and former colleague. Listing Pasachoff’s many accomplishments, she noted, “Of all Jay’s honors, the one I find most fitting is the naming of an asteroid after him—formally, Asteroid 5100 Pasachoff—a seven-mile-wide space rock that has been and will be orbiting the sun for eons. That’s enduring recognition.”
Photograph courtesy of Pasachoff family.