William Kenneth Hartmann

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William K. Hartmann
Born (1939-06-06) 6 June 1939 (age 75)
New Kensington, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Fields planetary science
Institutions Planetary Science Institute
Alma mater Pennsylvania State University
University of Arizona
Notable awards G.K. Gilbert Award, Carl Sagan Medal for Excellence in Public Communication in Planetary Science

William Kenneth Hartmann is a noted planetary scientist, author, and writer. He was the first to convince the scientific mainstream that the Earth had once been hit by a planet sized body (Theia), creating both the moon and the Earth's 23.5° tilt.[1]

Born in Pennsylvania in 1939,[2] he received his B.S. in physics from Pennsylvania State University, and an M.S. in geology and PhD in astronomy from the University of Arizona. His career spans over 40 years, from work in the early 1960s with Gerard Kuiper on Mare Orientale, and work on the Mariner 9 Mars mapping project, to current work on the Mars Global Surveyor imaging team. He is currently a senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute.

Strongly influenced by Chesley Bonestell, he has long been one of America's leading space artists, and has written and illustrated, often collaboratively with artist Ron Miller, numerous books on the history of Earth and the Solar System.

Hartmann is a Fellow of the International Association of Astronomical Artists. His written work also includes textbooks, short fiction, and novels, the most recent being published in 2002. In 1997 he was the first recipient of the Carl Sagan Medal for Excellence in Public Communication in Planetary Science from the American Astronomical Society, Division for Planetary Sciences.

Hartmann was a member of the 1966–1968 University of Colorado UFO Project, informally known as the Condon Committee, a controversial public study of UFOs sponsored by the U.S. Air Force. He primarily investigated photographic evidence, rejecting most as unreliable or inconclusive, but in his studies published in the Committee's final report, Hartmann concluded two cases were unexplained and particularly noteworthy as probative evidence of the reality of UFOs.

Asteroid 3341 Hartmann is named after him.

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  1. ^ Birth of the Planet, 24 November 2008, Channel 4
  2. ^ [1]

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