Remembering Prof. Erika Böhm-Vitense

Submitted by Arts & Sciences Web Team on


Prof. Erika Böhm-Vitense

The UW Astronomy Department notes with sadness the death of Dr. Erika Böhm-Vitense. Erika was born in 1923 in Germany. She received her Ph.D. from Kiel University in 1951. Erika and her astronomer husband Karl-Heinz Böhm joined the UW Astronomy Department in 1968. Erika’s astronomical research focused on convection and other characteristics of stellar atmospheres. Her widely-cited 1953 paper on convection in the atmosphere of the sun has been used for decades in modeling the stellar atmospheres in a wide range of stars. In the early 1980s Erika started using the International Ultraviolet Explorer satellite to observe stellar atmospheres and coronas, as well as Cepheid variable stars. In addition to her prolific research, she was also renowned for her excellent textbook on stellar atmospheres. In 1965 she received the Annie Jump Cannon award from the American Astronomical Society. In 2003 the Astronomische Gesellschaft honored her with the Schwarzschild Prize.

Link to Prof. Böhm-Vitense’s scientific papers:

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