NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Prof. Neil Gehrels was the Director of the Astroparticle Physics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Maryland, USA and a leading figure for several decades in the field of gamma ray astronomy.
He was best known as the Principal Investigator of the highly successful Swift Gamma Ray Burst Mission launched in 2004 which has transformed our view of the transient and variable sky in gamma-rays and in X-rays. Under his leadership, Swift has discovered over 1000 of the enigmatic and extreme cosmic explosions called gamma-ray bursts, and has revealed their properties, distances, and environments, well beyond what was previously known, with profound implications for their understanding.
Amongst the distinguished awards that Prof. Gehrels received are the Caltech Distinguished Alumni Award (2016); the Physical Sciences Award, Washington Academy of Science (2016); the Henry Draper Medal, National Academy of Sciences, USA (2009) and the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal (2005).
Prof. Gehrels was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, USA; the International Academy of Astronautics and a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
It was with great sorrow that we heard of the passing of Prof. Gehrels.
The Dan David Prize joins the Astronomy world in mourning.
It is an honor to include him in the Dan David Prize Community of laureates.