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Satoshi Matsushima (1923–1992)

Published onSep 01, 1992
Satoshi Matsushima (1923–1992)

Dr. Satoshi Matsushima, professor emeritus of astronomy at The Pennsylvania State University, died on January 31, 1992, at Columbia Hospital in New York City. Born on May 6, 1923, he was 68 years old. From 1976 to 1989, Dr. Matsushima served as Head of Penn State's Department of Astronomy. He succeeded Dr. John P. Hagen, founder of the Department, who died in 1990.

Dr. Matsushima was a graduate of the University of Kyoto and held a doctor of philosophy degree from the University of Utah and a doctor of science degree from the University of Tokyo. He held many research positions before coming to Penn State, among them a postdoctoral appointment at the Observatory of Paris and a Humboldt Fellowship at Kiel University.

Dr. Matsushima joined the Penn State faculty as a professor in 1967. The author of more than 80 scholarly articles and book chapters, he was a specialist in solar physics, the theory of stellar atmospheres, stellar spectroscopy, and planetary astronomy.

A member of three commissions of the International Astronomical Union and a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, he was also a member of the American Astronomical Society, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, the American Geophysical Union, and the scientific honorary society, Sigma Xi. In addition, he was appointed by former Penn State University President Bryce Jordan to be an initial member of Penn State's Commission on Racia1/Ethnic Diversity.

Dr. Matsushima had an extraordinary influence over the development of the Department of Astronomy at Penn State University. One of his main interests was in recruiting excellent graduate students, which he pursued with great energy. In the first ten years of his office, Dr. Matsushima significantly raised the research profile of the department, due largely to his success in recruiting excellent faculty. According to Lawrence Ramsey, "Dr. Matsushima's hard work and vision for the future of this department unquestionably put in place the foundation for the success the Astronomy and Astrophysics program has enjoyed to date."

Funeral services were held in Japan. His wife, Reiko, and children, Anne and Peter, survive him.

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