About Judith Lynn Pipher

Judith Lynn Pipher an astrophysicist and observational astronomer. A 2009 article in Discover magazine indicated that Pipher was “considered by many to be the mother of infrared astronomy.” She is Professor Emeritus of Astronomy at the University of Rochester and directed the C.E.K. Mees Observatory from 1979 to 1994. She has made important contributions to the development of infrared detector arrays in space telescopes.  From 1979 to 1994 Pipher was director of University of Rochester’s C.E.K. Mees Observatory. In the 1970s and 1980s, she made observations from the Kuiper Airborne Observatory. Pipher and William J. Forrest achieved promising results with a 32 x 32-pixel array of indium antimonide (InSb) detectors at a NASA Ames workshop. In 1983 Pipher and her colleagues were among the first to use an infrared array camera to capture starburst galaxies.  Pipher’s observational research has concentrated on star formation studies and the arrays she designed have been used to observe astronomical phenomena such as planetary nebulae, brown dwarfs, and the Galactic Center.  She has authored over 200 papers and scientific articles.  Pipher is a member of a team at the University of Rochester that developed the NEOCam sensor, a HgCdTe infrared-light sensor intended for the proposed Near-Earth Object Camera. The sensor improves the ability to detect potentially hazardous objects such as asteroids.

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