The Bruce Medalists


  Portrait Photo 2010, courtesy Scanpix/the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters
Andrew Christopher Fabian
20 February 1948 2016 Bruce Medalist

“Andy” Fabian was born in England. He earned his B.Sc. at King's College London and his Ph.D. in 1972 at University College London. He has been at the University of Cambridge since 1973, where he has held several posts, including vice-master of Darwin College and Royal Society Research Professor of Astronomy. He is currently serving as Acting Director of the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge. He is known for his observational and theoretical research on X-ray sources, especially black holes and the disks around them and gas in clusters of galaxies. He, his colleagues, and his students have helped develop and/or interpret data from many orbiting X-ray observatories, including Uhuru (1970–1973), Copernicus (1972–1981), Ariel V (1974–1980), Einstein (1978–1981), EXOSAT (1983–1986), GINGA (1987–1991), ROSAT (1990–1999), Compton GRO (1991–2000), ASCA (1993–2001), RXTE (1995–2012), BeppoSAX (1996–2002), Chandra (1999–), XMM-Newton (1999–), INTEGRAL (2002–), Swift (2004–), Suzaku (2005–2015), and NuSTAR (2012–), and he is working on the proposed Athena mission. He has also investigated ultraviolet and gamma-ray sources. His greatest achievements are considered to be finding ways to determine the properties of the giant black holes in active galactic nuclei and explaining the cooling flows of gas surrounding giant elliptical galaxies and inhabiting clusters of galaxies. For example, his team found certain iron lines in the spectrum of a Seyfert galaxy that were taken as coming from very near the event horizon of the massive black hole at its core. He has done much to spread astronomical knowledge, both by giving popular lectures to the public and by supervising more than fifty Ph.D. students. He served as editor-in-chief of the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society from 1994 to 2008.

Personal Web Page
At the University of Cambridge

Other awards
American Astronomical Society High Energy Astrophysics Division, Bruno Rossi Prize, 2001.
American Institute of Physics and American Astronomical Society, Dannie Heinemann Prize for Astrophysics, 2008.
Royal Astronomical Society, Gold medal, 2012.
Kavli Foundation, Kavli Prize for Astrophysics, 2020.

Some offices held
Royal Astronomical Society, President, 2008-2010.

Biographical materials
Fabian, Andrew, Autobiography for the Kavli Prize, 2020.
Hubble Heritage Project
"RAS Awards and Prizes – Prof. Andy Fabian," Astronomy & Geophysics 53, 1.36 (2012) [includes photo].

2016 by Sam Fabian, courtesy Prof. Fabian
2016 ASP Annual Awards Gala, photography by Marcella Gries, courtesy of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific: 1  2

Named after him
Minor Planet #25157 Fabian

More references

The Bruce Medalists

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