English radio astronomerDied when: 66 years 17 days (792 months)
Star Sign: Libra
Sir Martin Ryle (27 September 1918 – 14 October 1984) was an English radio astronomer who developed revolutionary radio telescope systems (see e.g. aperture synthesis) and used them for accurate location and imaging of weak radio sources.
In 1946 Ryle and Derek Vonberg were the first people to publish interferometric astronomical measurements at radio wavelengths.With improved equipment, Ryle observed the most distant known galaxies in the universe at that time.
He was the first Professor of Radio Astronomy at the University of Cambridge, and founding director of the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory.
He was the twelfth Astronomer Royal from 1972 to 1982.Ryle and Antony Hewish shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1974, the first Nobel prize awarded in recognition of astronomical research.
In the 1970s, Ryle turned the greater part of his attention from astronomy to social and political issues which he considered to be more urgent.