Elsa van Dien

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Elsa van Dien (July 12, 1914 – 2007) was an astronomer. She received her Ph.D. from Harvard University. She married Gale Bruno van Albada who was also an astronomer.
Elsa van Dien was born in Paramaribo (Surinam) July 12, 1914 as the daughter of Rebecca da Silva and Gerrit van Dien. The family moved to the Netherlands in 1923. Elsa commenced her Astronomy study in 1932 at the University of Amsterdam. She also registered at the University of Leiden (The Netherlands) in 1935, to have access to its observatory.[1] She was awarded a scholarship by Radcliffe College for September 1939, but due to the Second World War she could only commence her PhD there in September 1945, also with support of the American Association of University Women (AAUW). The title description of her thesis is: The Stark-effect of the higher Balmer lines in stars of spectral types A and B. Thesis - Radcliffe, 1947.[2] After her PhD she initially stayed at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory in Victoria, Canada. In 1948 she moved back to the Netherlands. In August 1948 she was appointed at the Bosscha Observatory near Bandung, Indonesia. There she met and married Bruno van Albada. She continued her astronomical research until 1958, when the family returned to the Netherlands. She resumed doing research in astronomy after the death of van Albada in December 1972.


  1. ^ Jaarboek der Rijksuniversiteit te Leiden 1936 : Album Studiosorum - 17 September 1935 tot 20 September 1936, p. 102.
  2. ^ National Union Catalogue: ND 0262272; MH.