|Photo courtesy J.P. Lasota|
|8 February 1940||2002 Bruce Medalist||19 April 2007|
Bohdan “Bep” Paczynski was born in Wilno, Poland (now Vilnius, Lithuania), and educated at University of Warsaw, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1967. He worked at the Institute of Astronomy (since 1975 the Nickolas Copernicus Astronomical Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences) in Warsaw until 1982, when he moved to Princeton University, where he was the Lyman Spitzer Jr. Professor of Astrophysics. After observational studies of polarization and absorption in the Galaxy and of variable stars, he turned to theoretical work in stellar evolution and accretion disks around compact stars and in close binary systems. He wrote a widely-used stellar evolution code. He was known for theoretical work on gamma ray bursters, where he was an early proponent of the now-confirmed view that they are at cosmological distances. He proposed the use of gravitational microlensing as a technique for detecting compact objects in the galactic halo, and he was a leader of two major Polish-American sky surveys: the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (OGLE) and the All-Sky Automated Survey, which is photometrically monitoring ten million stars.
Naye, Robert, Mercury 31, 4, 5 (2002).
American Astronomical Society, Henry Norris Russell Lectureship, 2006.
American Astronomical Society High Energy Astronomy Division, Rossi Prize, 2000.
American Institute of Physics & American Astronomical Society, Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics, 1992.
Association pour le Développement International de lObservatoire de Nice, ADION medal, 1983
Astronomische Gesellschaft, Karl Schwarzschild medal, 1981, presented by T. Schmidt-Kaler, Mitteilungen der Astronomischen Gesellschaft 57, 25-26 (1982).
National Academy of Sciences, Henry Draper Medal, 1997.
Polish Physical Society, Marian Smoluchowski Medal, 2000.
Royal Astronomical Society, Eddington medal, 1987, presented by R. D. Davies, QJRAS 29, 97 (1988); Gold medal, 1999, presented Astronomy & Geophysics 41, 2, 2.6 (2000).
Draine, Bruce T., Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences, 2017.
Paczynski, Bohdan, “Gamma-ray Bursts: The Most Spectacular Fireworks,” in S. Alan Stern, ed., Our Universe: The Thrill of Extragalactic Exploration As Told by Leading Experts (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 2001).
Preston, G.W., “