Ed Nather

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R. Edward Nather
Roy Edward Nather

(1926-09-23)September 23, 1926
Helena, Montana, United States
DiedAugust 13, 2014(2014-08-13) (aged 87)
Spouse(s)Tommie-Lou Rush
Virginia Wood Palm
Marilane Levine Nather

R. Edward Nather (1926 – 2014) was the Rex G. Baker, Jr. and McDonald Observatory Centennial Research Professor Emeritus in Astronomy at UT Austin. He pioneered the fields of asteroseismology of white dwarfs, and observational studies of interacting binary collapsed stars.[1] He served as the director of the Whole Earth Telescope for the first decade of its existence,[2] and achieved internet fame by posting the Story of Mel, a Real Programmer, on Usenet.[3]

Nather died on August 13, 2014 in Austin, Texas. He is survived by his wife, Marilane Nather; his children, Kathy Nather Thomas, Kelley Thompson, Wendy Nather, David Nather and Lara Nather; nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.


  1. ^ "Astronomy Program: Directory ~ People: Edward Nather". Astronomy Program, The University of Texas. 2013-10-21. Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2014-07-01.
  2. ^ "Whole Earth Telescope". Astronomy Program, The University of Texas. 2003-05-20. Archived from the original on 2012-08-11.
  3. ^ Raymond, Eric S., ed. (1992-07-01). "The Jargon File, Version 2.9.10, 01 Jul 1992 (jargon2910.ascii.gz)". line 20505. Archived from the original on 2017-03-09. Retrieved 2014-07-01.
    :The Story of Mel, a Real Programmer:
    This was posted to USENET by its author, Ed Nather (utastro!nather), on May 21, 1983.

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