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Jack Tueller (1949–2013)

Tueller designed, built and deployed instruments for balloon- and space-based studies in the high-energy X-ray to low-energy gamma ray spectral region.

Published onApr 08, 2022
Jack Tueller (1949–2013)

Photo courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Jack Tueller, an American astrophysicist, passed away on Wednesday, February 20, 2013. He was 63.

Tueller was born and raised in the Midwest, and earned his Ph.D. in physics at Washington University as a student of Martin Israel. His lifelong career was at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in the High Energy Astrophysics Laboratory.

Jack was devoted to the difficult and least-researched spectral band from high-energy X-rays to low-energy gamma rays. He designed and deployed a number of new instruments, having them balloon-borne to extreme altitudes in the historic manner of cosmic-ray research. His collaborative efforts with Bonnard Teegarden included the Low Energy Gamma Ray instrument (LEGS) and the Gamma Ray Instrument for Spectroscopy (GRIS). This work resulted in the two of them sharing Goddard’s John Lindsay Award for Science, its highest honor, for their study of the line emission from supernova remnant SN87A. He was also the Project Scientist for NASA’s balloon program. Jack continued his productive and innovative work with X-ray studies from the Swift spacecraft and with his design of the InFocus instrument — which never came to fulfillment due to his early death.

Jack is survived by many friends and by his wife Kelly Banks of Washington, D.C. His legacy is that of an innovative and productive scientist in the challenging new field of High Energy Astrophysics. His scope and depth of knowledge made him a great conversationalist and advisor to those in need. Jack’s ever present enthusiasm and cheerfulness infected all those around him.

See also Tueller’s AstroGen information.

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