Aden Meinel


Aden B. Meinel (November 25, 1922 – October 3, 2011) was an American astronomer. He retired in 1993 as a distinguished scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He also held the rank of professor emeritus at the University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences. His research interests have included upper atmospheric physics, glass technology, optical design, instrumentation and space systems.

Meinel received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1949. His dissertation is entitled A Spectrographic Study of the Night Sky and Aurora in the Near Infrared. In 1954, he was awarded the Helen B. Warner Prize for Astronomy by the American Astronomical Society. He was president of the Optical Society of America in 1972[1] and was awarded the Frederic Ives Medal in 1980. He received the George Van Biesbroeck Prize in 1990.


During his career, Meinel was involved in the design and construction of several large telescopes, including:


Aden Meinel's publications include:

  • The Near-Infrared Spectrum of the Night Sky and Aurora, Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Vol. 60, No. 357, p. 373
  • On the Spectrum of Lightning in the Venus Atmosphere, Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Vol. 74, No. 439, p. 329
  • Automatic Optical Designing for Astronomy, Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Vol. 77, No. 455, p. 136
  • Catalog of Emission Lines in Astrophysical Objects, Optical Sciences Center Technical Report 27, June 1968, 195 pp.
  • Power for the People, McDonnell-Douglas Corporation, 1971, 280 pp. *LOC# TJ810.M44
  • Applied Solar Energy: An Introduction, Addison-Wesley, 1976, 650 pp.
  • Sunsets, Twilights, and Evenings Skies, Cambridge University Press, 1983, 163 pp. ISBN 978-0521252201
  • Telescope Structures - An Evolutionary Overview, Structural mechanics of optical systems II; Proceedings of the Meeting, Los Angeles, CA, Jan. 13-15, 1987, Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers
  • Aden B. Meinel publications


  • Founding Director Optical Sciences Center & Professor Emeritus, University of Arizona
  • SPIE Meinel Commemorative Technical Conference Sept. 22, 2003
  • Asteroid 4065 Meinel is named in his honor.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Past Presidents of the Optical Society of America". Optic Society of America. Archived from the original on 2009-01-20.
  • In Memoriam: Aden B. Meinel, 1922-2011, Optical Society of America
  • Aden B. Meinel, American Astronomical Association
  • Dr. Aden B. Meinel, 1922-2011, National Optical Astronomy Observatory
  • Aden B. Meinel, Pioneering Optical Scientist, Dies at 88, USNews, University of Arizona Archived 2019-07-13 at the Wayback Machine
  • In Memoriam: Aden Meinel, founder of Kitt Peak National Observatory, SPIE
  • Obituary: Aden Baker Meinel, Physics Today 65, 5, 66 (2012)
  • Astronomy pioneer Meinel dies at 88, Arizona Star
  • The Meinel Partnership and the Founding of the National Observatory
  • Aden Meinel's Wartime Experiences: How Luck and Schmidt Plates Changed the Course of History. Optics Luminaries
  • Extremely Large Sparse Aperature Telescopes