Aden Meinel, astronomer and innovator, has passed away


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Aden Meinel, astronomer and innovator, has passed away.

Meinel, first director of the Kitt Peak Observatory, was the also first to conceive and try to build robotic telescopes that could be operated remotely. Many of his ideas were later incorporated both on the ground and in space.

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  • Aden Meinel was also the pioneer in the large scale (GW) development of solar energy for developed countries like the US. He and Marjorie were responsible for shifting the focus of solar from small scale, good only for developing countries, to large scale electric production. Their 1971 paper, “Is It Time For A New Look At Solar Energy?” (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Oct 1971) led the way for todays explosion of solar commercialization. I was proud to be one of Aden’s students and collaborators. It was through Aden and Marjorie that I met my wife, Cynthia, who was Aden’s secretary.

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