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News Release Archive:

News Release 519 of 958

October 9, 2002 12:00 AM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2002-26

Nobel Prize in Physics Awarded to Astronomer for NASA-Funded Research

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Image: Riccardo Giacconi

Riccardo GiacconiSTScI-PRC2002-26

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Riccardo Giacconi, the "father of X-ray astronomy," has received the Nobel Prize in physics for "pioneering contributions to astrophysics," which have led to the discovery of cosmic X-ray sources.

Giacconi, president of the Associated Universities Inc., in Washington, DC and Research Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD discovered the first X-ray stars and the X-ray background in the 1960s and conceived of and led the implementation of the Uhuru and High Energy Astronomy Observatory-2 (HEAO-2) X-ray observatories in the 1970s. With funding from NASA, he also detected sources of X-rays that most astronomers now consider to contain black holes. Giacconi previously served from 1981 to 1993 as director of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, which operates and defines the science program for the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope.

Image Type: Photograph

Photo Credit: Johns Hopkins University