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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!

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  • Carl Edward Sagan (; November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996) was an American astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author, science popularizer, and science communicator in astronomy  ...more

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  • Neil deGrasse Tyson (; born October 5, 1958) is an American astrophysicist, author, and science communicator. Since 1996, he has been the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the  ...more

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  • Stephen William Hawking (8 January 1942 – 14 March 2018) was an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author who was director of research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the  ...more

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  • Kip Stephen Thorne (born June 1, 1940) is an American theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate, known for his contributions in gravitational physics and astrophysics. A longtime friend and colleague  ...more
  • Frank Donald Drake (born May 28, 1930) is an American astronomer and astrophysicist. He is involved in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, including the founding of SETI, mounting the  ...more
  • Freeman John Dyson (born 15 December 1923) is an American theoretical physicist and mathematician known for his work in quantum electrodynamics, solid-state physics, astronomy and nuclear  ...more
  • Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar ; 19 October 1910 – 21 August 1995) was an Indian American astrophysicist who spent his professional life in the United States. He was awarded the 1983 Nobel Prize for  ...more
  • Brian Harold May, (born 19 July 1947) is an English musician, singer, songwriter and astrophysicist. He is the lead guitarist of the rock band Queen. His songs include "We Will Rock You", "Tie Your  ...more

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  • Colin Michael Foale (born 6 January 1957) is a British-American astrophysicist and former NASA astronaut. He is a veteran of six space missions, and is the only NASA astronaut to have flown extended  ...more
  • Dirk Dries David Damiaan, Viscount Frimout (born 21 March 1941 in Poperinge, Belgium) is an astrophysicist for the European Space Agency. He flew aboard NASA Space Shuttle mission STS-45 as a payload  ...more
  • Glen David Brin (born October 6, 1950) is an American scientist and author of science fiction. He has received the Hugo, Locus, Campbell and Nebula Awards. His novel The Postman was adapted as a  ...more
  • Cecilia Helena Payne-Gaposchkin (née Payne; (1900-05-10)May 10, 1900 – (1979-12-07)December 7, 1979) was a British-born American astronomer and astrophysicist who proposed in her 1925 doctoral thesis  ...more
  • John-David Francis Bartoe (born November 17, 1944 in Abington, Pennsylvania) is an American astrophysicist. He is the Research Manager for the International Space Station (ISS) at NASA's Johnson  ...more
  • Annie Jump Cannon (; December 11, 1863 – April 13, 1941) was an American astronomer whose cataloging work was instrumental in the development of contemporary stellar classification. With Edward C.  ...more
  • Alexei Vladimir "Alex" Filippenko (; born July 25, 1958) is an American astrophysicist and professor of astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley. Filippenko graduated from Dos Pueblos High  ...more
  • Frank Curtis "Curt" Michel, Ph.D. (June 5, 1934 – February 26, 2015) was an American astrophysicist; a professor of astrophysics at Rice University in Houston, Texas; a former United States Air Force  ...more
  • Jeffrey Alan Hoffman (born November 2, 1944) is an American former NASA astronaut and currently a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT. Hoffman made five flights as a Space Shuttle  ...more
  • Gregory Benford (born January 30, 1941) is an American science fiction author and astrophysicist who is Professor Emeritus at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California,  ...more
  • 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 principal  ...more
  • James Gunn (born 1966) is an American filmmaker. James Gunn may also refer to: Sir James Gunn (explorer) of Scotland, member of Henry Sinclair's survey expedition James Gunn (senator) (1753–1801),  ...more
  • 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 at  ...more
  • Josef Allen Hynek (May 1, 1910 – April 27, 1986) was an American astronomer, professor, and ufologist. He is perhaps best remembered for his UFO research. Hynek acted as scientific advisor to UFO  ...more
  • John E. Carlstrom (born 1957) is an American astrophysicist, and Professor, Departments of Astronomy and Astrophysics, and Physics, at the University of Chicago.He graduated from Vassar College with  ...more
  • Hubert Reeves (born July 13, 1932), is a French Canadian astrophysicist and popularizer of science.  ...more
  • Stephen Erik Thorsett (born December 3, 1964) 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  ...more