Michael Rowan-Robinson

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Michael Rowan-Robinson (born 1942) is an astronomer and astrophysicist. He was educated at Pembroke College, Cambridge and is Professor of Astrophysics and until May 2007 was Head of the Astrophysics Group at Imperial College London. From 1981 to 1982, he gave public lectures as professor of astronomy at Gresham College. He retired as president of the Royal Astronomical Society in 2008.

Research interests[edit]

Rowan-Robinson's research interests include the Spitzer Space Telescope SWIRE project, the European Large Area ISO Survey, the UK SCUBA Survey (see James Clerk Maxwell Telescope), the IRAS PSC Redshift Survey, the Herschel Space Observatory SPIRE instrument and the Planck Surveyor HFI.


Hoyle Medal[edit]

Rowan-Robinson was awarded the 2008 Hoyle Medal by the Institute of Physics for his research in infrared and submillimetre astronomy, and observational cosmology.[1]

Asteroid 4599 Rowan[edit]

Asteroid 4599, discovered in 1985 by H. Debehogne at the European Southern Observatory, has been renamed "Rowan" to honor Michael Rowan-Robinson. The credit notes that, even though Rowan-Robinson's contributions have been in extragalactic astronomy, he was able to use data from IRAS to set a limit on the number of undiscovered Jupiter-like planets beyond the orbit of Neptune.[2]

Rowan-Robinson directed Brian May's doctoral thesis in Astrophysics.

Books and publications[edit]


His books include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hoyle Medal and Prize
  2. ^ "Citation for (4599)". Retrieved 2006-07-20.