Leon Mestel bigraphy, stories - British astronomer

Leon Mestel : biography

5 August 1927 -

Leon Mestel (born 5 August 1927) is a British astronomer and astrophysicist and Emeritus Professor at the University of Sussex. His research interests are in the areas of star formation and structure, especially stellar magnetism and astrophysical magnetohydrodynamics. He has been awarded both the Eddington Medal (1993) and the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (for Astronomy, 2002). Following his retirement, he has also written several obituaries and biographical articles on physicists and astrophysicists.

Later years

Since retiring, Mestel has written several obituaries and biographical articles on physicists and astrophysicists for publications such as The Independent, the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, and Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. Those for whom Mestel has written obituaries and articles include Martin Schwarzschild,, Leon Mestel, The Independent, Saturday, 19 April 1997 Roger John Tayler,, Leon Mestel, The Independent, Tuesday, 28 January 1997Leon Mestel, , Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, accessed 7 Nov 2010 William McCrea,Leon Mestel, , Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edition, Oct 2007, accessed 7 Nov 2010 Hermann Bondi, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar,Leon Mestel, , Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, accessed 7 Nov 2010, Leon Mestel, The Independent, Thursday, 24 August 1995 and Thomas George Cowling.Leon Mestel, , Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, accessed 7 Nov 2010 Mestel also contributed the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography entry for Selig Brodetsky.Leon Mestel, , Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, accessed 7 Nov 2010

In 2002, Mestel was an invited speaker at a conference held in Cardiff, Wales, in memory of Fred Hoyle., Cardiff Centre for Astrobiology, accessed 07/11/2010 In 2004, together with John D. Barrow, Mestel organised a Commemoration Meeting at the Royal Astronomical Society to mark 60 years since the death of Arthur Eddington, publishing a paper on Eddington later the same year.Arthur Stanley Eddington: pioneer of stellar structure theory, Leon Mestel, , Number 2, December 2004, pp.65-73 In 2009, Mestel featured in Portraits of Astronomers, a book by Lucinda Douglas-Menzies with portraits of thirty-eight leading UK astronomers., website of Lucinda Douglas-Menzies, accessed 06/11/2010This photograph of Mestel, along with others from Douglas-Menzies, is also available from the AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives: see (4 April 2008). As of 2009, Mestel resides in Cambridge.

Early life and family

Leon Mestel was born on 5 August 1927, Who's Who 2010, A & C Black, 2010; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2009; online edn, Nov 2009, accessed 7 Nov 2010 in Melbourne, Australia., Debrett's People of Today, accessed 07/11/2010 With his family, he emigrated to England at the age of three, where he lived in Forest Gate, east London. He was the son of Rabbi Solomon Mestel and Rachel, née Brodetsky, sister of Selig Brodetsky. He was educated at West Ham Secondary School, London, and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he obtained his BA in 1948 and his Ph.D in 1952.

He married Sylvia Louise Cole in 1951, and they have two sons and two daughters. One of his sons is Jonathan Mestel (born 1957), a mathematics professor and chess grandmaster. In 1982, as part of a memorial series of annual lectures at the University of Leeds commemorating his maternal uncle, Leon Mestel gave the 23rd Selig Brodetsky Memorial Lecture, titled Astronomy: A Mirror to Physics., University of Leeds Review, 1982 (entry at worldcat.org)

Awards and honours

  • 1993 - Eddington Medal for "his fundamental work on cosmic magnetism", QJRAS (1993), volume 34, pages 275-276
  • 2002 - Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (for Astronomy, 2002)., Royal Astronomical Society, accessed 06/11/2010 (announcement of the award), The Observatory, Vol. 122, p. 194-199, 2002 (presentation of the award), The Observatory, Vol. 122, p. 242-246, 2002
Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine