Alan Dressler

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Alan Michael Dressler (born 23 March 1948) is an American astronomer at the Carnegie Institution for Science of Washington, D.C.. Among his works is the popularization Voyage To The Great Attractor: Exploring Intergalactic Space.[1]

Dressler was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, graduated from Walnut Hills High School[2] in 1966, and received his bachelor's degree in physics in 1970 from the University of California, Berkeley and his doctorate in astronomy in 1976 from the University of California, Santa Cruz. His primary professional interests lie in cosmology, birth and evolution of galaxies, astronomical instrumentation, and extragalactic astronomy.

From 1993 to 1995 Dressler chaired the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) committee "HST & Beyond: Exploration and the Search for Origins" that provided NASA with the document "A Vision for Ultraviolet-Optical-Infrared Space Astronomy". He was a member of the Nuker Team and the Morphs collaboration which studied the evolution of spiral galaxies using the Magellan Telescopes and the Hubble Space Telescope.[3] Dressler was chairman of the Origins Subcommittee (OS) for NASA from 2000 to 2003,[4] but declined membership in the Review of Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies, Survey/Detection Panel.[5] Dressler is currently working on the Inamori Magellan Areal Camera and Spectrograph (IMACS) Cluster Building Survey which studies the evolution of stellar structures and populations in distant galaxy clusters, which means the events observed took place four to seven billion years ago. He is also a member of the Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronograph Science and technology definition team.[6]


In 1983 Dressler received the Newton Lacy Pierce Prize in Astronomy from the American Astronomical Society[7] He was elected to the United States National Academy of Sciences in the field of astronomy in 1996. In 1999 he received the Public Service Medal from NASA.


  1. ^ Dressler, Alan Michael (1994) Voyage To The Great Attractor: Exploring Intergalactic Space Knopf, New York, ISBN 0-394-58899-1
  2. ^ Rolfes, Steven (Oct 29, 2012). Cincinnati Landmarks. Arcadia Publishing. p. 54. ISBN 9780738593951. Retrieved 2013-05-19.
  3. ^ "The Morphs" Durham University, United Kingdom
  4. ^ "Letter to Origins Director Dr. Anne Kinney from Dr. Alan Dressler, Chair of OS" Archived 2011-07-21 at the Wayback Machine Origins Subcommittee (OS) Meeting, NASA Headquarters, July 11–13, 2001
  5. ^ "Committee Membership Information" United States National Academy of Sciences
  6. ^ "An Evening with Dr. Alan Dressler" Archived 2011-02-06 at the Wayback Machine Las Cumbres Observatory Lectures
  7. ^ "Newton Lacy Pierce Prize in Astronomy" Archived 2010-12-22 at the Wayback Machine American Astronomical Society

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