Professor of Astronomy
Gibor Basri was born in New York City and grew up in Colorado. He received his B.S. in Physics from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in Astrophysics from the University of Colorado, Boulder. An award of a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship then brought him to the University of California, Berkeley. Gibor joined the faculty of the Berkeley Astronomy Department in 1982, received tenure in 1988, and became a full professor in 1994.
At Berkeley he did seminal work on the role of stellar magnetic fields in the star formation process. He developed several methods for directly measuring magnetic fields on stars helping our understanding of how magnetic dynamos operate in the stellar context, and the relations between stellar rotation, age, and magnetic fields. He was a discoverer and expert on brown dwarfs (objects intermediate in mass between stars and planets). He has primarily used the Lick Observatory and the 10-meter Keck telescopes on Mauna Kea. He has also utilized space telescopes including the International Ultraviolet Explorer, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the Kepler Mission (which produced the knowledge that planets are very common).
In 1997 Gibor was awarded a Miller Research Professorship and became a Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer in 2000. In 2011 he was elected a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences. Professor Basri has also served throughout his career on efforts to diversify science and the academy, and was the founding Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion at UC Berkeley from 2007-2015.
The space age has helped make the past few decades a golden age for Astronomy. I have been privileged to use a number of space telescopes, including Kepler, Hubble, and an early fully interactive version (IUE). I’ll describe what it’s like to use different types of telescopes and observing modes, and the advantages they bring. […]