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Jerry Nelson dies; astronomer who built advanced telescopes was 73

Jerry Nelson dies; astronomer who built advanced telescopes was 73

Jerry Nelson, an astronomer who designed advanced telescopes that help scientists glimpse far reaches of the universe, has died. He was 73.

UC Santa Cruz, where Nelson was a professor emeritus of astronomy and astrophysics, said he died June 10 at his home. No cause was given.

Nelson’s design using dozens of segmented mirrors rather than a single large one was the basis for the Keck Observatory's twin 10-meter telescopes on Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano in Hawaii. Those telescopes, among the largest in use, have allowed scientists to measure the black hole at the center of the Milky Way and to spot planetary bodies outside our solar system.

“Jerry’s impacts on the field...

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