Gerard van Belle

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Gerard Theodore van Belle
Gerard Theodore van Belle.jpg
Born (1968-10-30) 30 October 1968 (age 48)
Tallahassee, Florida
Residence Flag of the United States.svg United States
Nationality Flag of the United States.svg United States
Fields Astronomy
Institutions Lowell, ESO, Caltech, JPL, St. Mary's College of Maryland
Alma mater University of Wyoming, Johns Hopkins University, Whitman College
Thesis Angular Size Measurements of Highly Evolved Stars (1996)
Doctoral advisor H. Mel Dyck
Known for The use of optical interferometry in studies of the stellar structure and detection of extrasolar planets.
Notable awards 2002 Edward Stone Award for Outstanding Research Publication

Gerard Theodore van Belle (born 1968, in Tallahassee, FL) is an American astronomer. He received a bachelor's degree in physics from Whitman College in 1990, a master's in physics from The Johns Hopkins University in 1993, and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Wyoming in 1996. While at Whitman College, he initiated as a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity.

Dr. van Belle is an expert in near-infrared interferometry, and has utilized this technique to measure the sizes of hundreds of nearby stars[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] .[6] The first direct measurement of stellar shape was carried out by a team led by him using the Palomar Testbed Interferometer to make observations of the rapidly rotating star Altair.[7] Dr. van Belle has also contributed to practical considerations of operating astronomical interferometers, particularly regarding considerations of calibration of these complicated instruments[8] [9] .[10]

After schooling, Dr. van Belle took a position at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory as an instrument architect for NASA's Keck Interferometer, and later joined the Michelson Science Center (now NASA Exoplanet Science Institute) at Caltech in 2003. He has participated in the commissioning of the Palomar Testbed Interferometer, and the CHARA Array. In 2007, he became a member of the astronomy faculty at the European Southern Observatory (ESO), and instrument scientist for the PRIMA instrument of ESO's VLTI facility; later in early 2011 he was also appointed instrument scientist for the MATISSE instrument of the VLTI. Since August 2011 he has been a member of the astronomer faculty at Lowell Observatory.

Dr. van Belle served as President of the International Astronomical Union's Commission 54 on Optical and Infrared Interferometry, for 2012-2015, after terms as Vice President (2009-2012) and Secretary (2006-2009).

Asteroid 25155 van Belle is named for him.


  1. ^ Dyck, H. M., van Belle, G. T., & Benson, J. A. (1996). "Angular Diameters and Effective Temperatures of Carbon Stars". Astronomical Journal. 112: 294. Bibcode:1996AJ....112..294D. doi:10.1086/118014. 
  2. ^ van Belle; G. T.; et al. (1996). "Angular Size Measurements of 18 Mira Variable Stars at 2.2 microns". Astronomical Journal. 112: 2147. Bibcode:1996AJ....112.2147V. doi:10.1086/118170. 
  3. ^ van Belle; G. T.; et al. (1997). "Angular Size Measurements of Carbon Miras and S-Type Stars". Astronomical Journal. 114: 2150. Bibcode:1997AJ....114.2150V. doi:10.1086/118635. 
  4. ^ van Belle, G.T.; et al. (1999). "Radii and Effective Temperatures for G, K, and M Giants and Supergiants". The Astronomical Journal. 117 (1): 521. Bibcode:1999AJ....117..521V. doi:10.1086/300677. 
  5. ^ van Belle, G.T.; et al. (2009). "Supergiant temperatures and linear radii from near-infrared interferometry". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 394 (4): 1925. Bibcode:2009MNRAS.394.1925V. arXiv:0811.4239Freely accessible. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.14146.x. 
  6. ^ van Belle, G. T., & von Braun, K. (2009). "Directly Determined Linear Radii and Effective Temperatures of Exoplanet Host Stars". Astrophysical Journal. 694 (2): 1085. Bibcode:2009ApJ...694.1085V. arXiv:0901.1206Freely accessible. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/694/2/1085. 
  7. ^ van Belle; G. T.; et al. (2001). "Altair's Oblateness and Rotation Velocity from Long-Baseline Interferometry". Astrophysical Journal. 559 (2): 1155. Bibcode:2001ApJ...559.1155V. doi:10.1086/322340. 
  8. ^ van Belle; G. T. (1999). "Predicting Stellar Angular Sizes". Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. 111 (766): 1515. Bibcode:1999PASP..111.1515V. arXiv:astro-ph/9904295Freely accessible. doi:10.1086/316462. 
  9. ^ van Belle, G. T., & van Belle, G. (2005). "Establishing Visible Interferometer System Responses: Resolved and Unresolved Calibrators". Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. 117 (837): 1263. Bibcode:2005PASP..117.1263V. arXiv:astro-ph/0508266Freely accessible. doi:10.1086/449603. 
  10. ^ van Belle; G. T.; et al. (2008). "The Palomar Testbed Interferometer Calibrator Catalog". Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series. 176 (1): 276. Bibcode:2008ApJS..176..276V. arXiv:0711.4194Freely accessible. doi:10.1086/526548. 

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