Black News and News Makers in History: Dr. George Carruthers

African American news from Pasadena - Black News and News Makers in History recognizes Dr. George Carruthers this week in Black history.Dr. George Carruthers gained international recognition for his work focused on ultraviolet observations of the earth's upper atmosphere and of astronomical phenomena. Ultraviolet light is the electromagnetic radiation between visible light and x-rays. His first major contribution to science was to lead the team that invented the far ultraviolet camera spectrograph. He developed the first moon-based space observatory, an ultraviolet camera that was carried to the moon by Apollo 16 astronauts in 1972. The camera was positioned on the moon's surface and allowed researchers to examine the Earth's atmosphere for concentrations of pollutants.

Dr. George Carruthers received a patent for his invention the "Image Converter for Detecting Electromagnetic Radiation Specially in Short Wave Lengths" in 1969.
He has been the principal investigator for numerous NASA and DoD sponsored space instruments including a 1986 rocket instrument that obtained ultraviolet image of Comet Halley. His most recent on the Air Force ARGOS mission captured an image of a Leonid shower meteor entering the earth's atmosphere, the first time a meteor has been imaged in the far ultraviolet from a space-borne camera.
George Carruthers was born in Cincinnati Ohio on October 1, 1939 and grew up in South Side, Chicago. At the age of ten, he built a telescope, but did not excel in junior high and high school math and physics, but still went on to win three science fair awards.

Dr. Carruthers attended the University of Illinois where he earned a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical engineering in 1961, then earned a master's degree in nuclear engineering in 1962, and a doctorate in aeronautical and astronautical engineering in 1964. His dissertation was entitled: "Experimental Investigations of Atomic Nitrogen Recombination".

He was a member of the American Astronomical Society, the American Geophysical Union, AIAA, AAAS, National Technical Association, and has been Chairman of the Editing and Review Committee and Editor, Journal of the National Technical Association, 1983 to present.

He has received many awards including: Arthur S. Fleming Award (Washington Jaycees), 1971, Exceptional Achievement Scientific Award Medal NASA 1972, the Warner Prize of the American Astronomical Society, the National Science. He also holds an Honorary Doctor of Engineering from, Michigan Technological University.

Compiled from http://www.about.com and http://www.anothershadeofcolor.com.