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Ana Gomes Nash (1957–1992)

Published onSep 01, 1992
Ana Gomes Nash (1957–1992)

Ana Gomes Nash, an astronomer in the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) Space Science Division and Associate Scientist of the Applied Research Corporation of Landover, Maryland, died suddenly on February 14, 1992.

Ana was born November 24, 1957 in New York City. She received her elementary and secondary education there. She received a BS degree cum laude from the State University at Albany in 1979 and her MS and PhD degrees in astronomy from the University of Wisconsin in 1981 and 1986. Her PhD work was in radio astronomy and led to a thesis entitled, "Observations of Molecular Clouds in the Direction of Galactic and Extragalactic Radio Sources".

She arrived at NRL in the spring of 1986, and worked in the Solar-Terrestrial Relationships Branch on subjects of solar rotation, magnetic fields, coronal structures, and the solar wind. Her expertise in image processing and computer software contributed to numerous discoveries and scientific papers. A memorable example of her work on solar rotation was featured on the cover of the August 18, 1989 issue of Science and the 1989 Christmas Card of the National Solar Observatory. She also continued her work in radio astronomy, obtaining data remotely from the VLA for projects on open clusters and OB-associations and for a survey of emission from Cepheid Variables, and published several papers on interstellar molecules. Also, she served as a member of a NASA Peer Review Panel for Space Physics Supporting Research and Technology.

Ana was an enthusiastic teacher who loved to work with younger people. During the summers of 1981-1983, she led astronomy workshops for the "College for Kids" program at the University of Wisconsin. While at NRL, she supervised the work of numerous summer students, gave talks and lectures at high schools, elementary schools, libraries, and planetariums throughout the Washington area, and taught astronomy courses at George Mason University and at the Northern Virginia Community College. She also participated in Science-by-Mail with students in Virginia.

Ana will be remembered for her cheerful and helpful manner, and will be deeply missed.

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