READ List of Famous Astrophysicists

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This list of famous astrophysicists includes photos, bios, and other information, when available. Who are the top astrophysicists in the world? This includes the most prominent astrophysicists, living and dead, both in America and abroad. This list of notable astrophysicists is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information (one astrophysicist regularly smoked marijuana), such as where these historic astrophysicists were born and what their nationality is. The influential scientists on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned astrophysicists.

The list you're viewing is made up of different people, from famous modern physicists like Neil deGrasse Tyson (curious about his favorite films?) and other astrophysics scientist luminaries like child prodigy Jacob Barnett. You might even recognize a few celebrity astrophysicists listed here!

From reputable, prominent, and well-known astrophysicists to the lesser known astrophysicists of today, you'll find some of the best professionals in the field on this list of astrophysicists. Who are the most famous astrophysicists ever? What are the names of famous astrophysicists? Read on to learn more!

Carl Sagan is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Carl Sagan appeared in the 2012 documentary film Beyond Expression Bright.

Neil deGrasse Tyson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Neil deGrasse Tyson is an American astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, and science communicator. Since 1996, he has been the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose ...more

Stephen Hawking is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Stephen William Hawking CH CBE FRS FRSA (8 January 1942 – 14 March 2018) was an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical ...more

Kip Thorne is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Kip Stephen Thorne is an American theoretical physicist, known for his contributions in gravitational physics and astrophysics. A longtime friend and colleague of Stephen Hawking and Carl Sagan, ...more

Frank Drake is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Frank Donald Drake is an American astronomer and astrophysicist. He is most notable as one of the pioneers in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, including the founding of SETI, ...more

Freeman Dyson is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Freeman John Dyson FRS is an English-born theoretical physicist and mathematician, known for his work in quantum electrodynamics, solid-state physics, astronomy and nuclear engineering. Dyson is ...more

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, FRS, was an Indian American astrophysicist born in Lahore, Punjab. Chandrasekhar was awarded, along with William A. Fowler, the 1983 Nobel Prize for Physics, with ...more

Brian May is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Brian Harold May, CBE is an English musician, singer, songwriter, and astrophysicist who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the rock band Queen. He uses a home-built electric ...more

Michael Foale is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Colin Michael Foale, CBE, PhD is a British-American astrophysicist and former NASA astronaut. He is a veteran of six space shuttle missions and extended stays on both Mir and the International ...more

Dirk Frimout is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Dirk Dries David Damiaan, Viscount Frimout is an astrophysicist for the European Space Agency. He flew aboard NASA Space Shuttle mision STS-45 as a payload specialist, making him the first ...more

David Brin is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Glen David Brin is an American scientist and award-winning author of science fiction. He has received the Hugo, Locus, Campbell and Nebula Awards. His Campbell Award winning novel The Postman ...more

Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Cecilia Helena Payne-Gaposchkin was a British–American astronomer and astrophysicist who, in 1925, proposed in her Ph.D. thesis an explanation for the composition of stars in terms of the ...more

John-David F. Bartoe is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
John-David Francis Bartoe is an American astrophysicist. He is the Research Manager for the International Space Station at NASA's Johnson Space Center. He provides oversight for the Program ...more

Annie Jump Cannon is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Annie Jump Cannon was an American astronomer whose cataloging work was instrumental in the development of contemporary stellar classification. With Edward C. Pickering, she is credited with the ...more

Alexei Filippenko is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Alexei Vladimir "Alex" Filippenko is an American astrophysicist and professor of astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley. Filippenko graduated from Dos Pueblos High School ...more

Curt Michel is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Frank Curtis "Curt" Michel was an American astrophysicist, a former professor of astrophysics at Rice University in Houston, Texas, and a former NASA astronaut.

Jeffrey A. Hoffman is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Jeffrey Alan Hoffman, Ph.D. is an American former NASA astronaut and currently a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT. Hoffman made five flights as a space shuttle astronaut, ...more

Gregory Benford is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Gregory Benford is an American science fiction author and astrophysicist who is on the faculty of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Irvine. He is also a ...more

Jerry E. Nelson is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Jerry Earl Nelson is an American astronomer known for his pioneering work designing segmented mirror telescopes, which led to him receiving the 2010 Kavli Prize for Astrophysics. He is the ...more

James E. Gunn is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
James Edward Gunn is the Eugene Higgins Professor of Astronomy at Princeton University. Gunn's early theoretical work in astronomy has helped establish the current understanding of how galaxies ...more

Michael Rowan-Robinson is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Michael Rowan-Robinson Michael Rowan-Robinson 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 ...more

J. Allen Hynek is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Dr. Josef Allen Hynek was a American astronomer, professor, and ufologist. He is perhaps best remembered for his UFO research. Hynek acted as scientific adviser to UFO studies undertaken by the ...more

John Carlstrom is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
John Carlstrom John E. Carlstrom is an American astrophysicist, and Professor, Departments of Astronomy and Astrophysics, and Physics, at the University of Chicago. He graduated from Vassar College with a B.A. ...more

Hubert Reeves is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Hubert Reeves, CC OQ is a French Canadian astrophysicist and popularizer of science.

Stephen Thorsett is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Stephen Erik Thorsett is an American professor and astronomer. His research interests include radio pulsars and gamma ray bursts. He is known for measurements of the masses of neutron stars and ...more

Richard A. Muller is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Richard A. Muller is an American professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also a faculty senior scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Most ...more

Jacob Barnett is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Jacob Barnett Jacob L. "Jake" Barnett is an American physics student and child prodigy. According to a memoir penned by his mother, he was diagnosed with autism when he was 2 years old and was ...more

Edward Arthur Milne is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Edward Arthur Milne FRS was a British astrophysicist and mathematician.

Ken Freeman is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Kenneth Charles Freeman, FAA, FRS is an Australian astronomer and astrophysicist who is currently Duffield Professor of Astronomy in the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the ...more

George Blumenthal is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
George R. Blumenthal is an American astrophysicist, astronomer, professor, and academic administrator. He is the tenth chancellor of the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Giorgio Abetti is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Giorgio Abetti was an Italian solar astronomer. He was born in Padua, the son of noted astronomer Antonio Abetti. He was educated at the Universities of Padua and of Rome. He began his career at ...more

Joseph Hooton Taylor, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Joseph Hooton Taylor Jr. is an American astrophysicist and Nobel Prize in Physics laureate for his discovery with Russell Alan Hulse of a "new type of pulsar, a discovery that has opened up ...more

Charles Greeley Abbot is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Charles Greeley Abbot was an American astrophysicist and the fifth secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, serving from 1928 until 1944. Abbot went from being director of the Smithsonian ...more

Steven Soter is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Steven Soter is an astrophysicist currently holding the positions of scientist-in-residence for New York University's Environmental Studies Program and of Research Associate for the Department ...more

Robert Emden is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Jacob Robert Emden was a Swiss astrophysicist and meteorologist. He was born in St. Gallen, Switzerland. In 1907 he became associate professor of physics and meteorology at the Technical ...more

David Morrison is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
David Morrison is director of the Carl Sagan Center for Study of Life in the Universe at the SETI Institute, former director of the NASA Lunar Science Institute, and senior scientist at the ...more

Cheick Modibo Diarra is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Cheick Modibo Diarra is a Malian astrophysicist, businessman, and politician who was acting Prime Minister of Mali from April 2012 to December 2012. On 11 December 2012, Diarra presented his ...more

David L. Lambert is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
David L. Lambert is a British-American Astronomer, who does research on stellar atmospheres, the chemical composition of stars, and the chemical evolution of the universe. Born in England, ...more

Svein Rosseland is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Svein Rosseland was a Norwegian astrophysicist and a pioneer in the field of theoretical astrophysics.

David Spergel is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
David Nathaniel Spergel, is an American theoretical astrophysicist and Princeton University professor known for his work on the WMAP mission. Professor Spergel is a MacArthur Fellow. He has ...more

Margaret Burbidge is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Eleanor Margaret Burbidge, FRS is a British-born American astrophysicist, noted for original research and holding many administrative posts, including Director of the Royal Greenwich ...more

Guillermo Gonzalez is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Guillermo Gonzalez is an astrophysicist, proponent of intelligent design, and an assistant professor at Ball State University, a public research university, in Muncie, Indiana. He is a senior ...more

Emilios T. Harlaftis is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Emilios T. Harlaftis was an astrophysicist. Harlaftis obtained an undergraduate degree in physics at the University of Athens in 1987, and a Ph.D. degree at the University of Oxford in 1991. ...more

Roger A. Chevalier is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists

Arnold Kohlschütter is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Ernst Arnold Kohlschütter was a German astronomer and astrophysicist from Halle. In 1908 he was awarded his Ph.D. from the University of Göttingen under Karl Schwarzschild. In 1911 he ...more

Brian Beckman is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Brian Beckman Brian Beckman is an astrophysicist and software engineer.

Michel Mayor is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Michel Mayor Michel G. E. Mayor is a Swiss astrophysicist and professor emeritus at the University of Geneva's Department of Astronomy. He formally retired in 2007, but remains active as a researcher at the ...more

Johann Karl Friedrich Zöllner is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Johann Karl Friedrich Zöllner Johann Karl Friedrich Zöllner was a German astrophysicist who studied optical illusions.

Margaret Geller is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Margaret J. Geller is an American astrophysicist at the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Her work has included pioneering maps of the nearby universe, studies of the relationship ...more

Donald C. Backer is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list List of Famous Astrophysicists
Donald C. Backer Donald C. Backer was an American astrophysicist who primarily worked in radio astronomy. Backer made important contributions to the understanding and study of pulsars, including the discovery of ...more