Andrew Murray (1926-2012)
On Wednesday 7 November Colin Andrew Murray, or Andrew as we knew him, passed away. Andrew played a crucial role in the early stages of the Hipparcos mission, ensuring a UK involvement in the data processing at the Royal Greenwich Observatory through the Northern Data Analysis Consortium. It is fair to say that many of us would not be where we are now without the early initiatives of Andrew concerning UK involvement in space astrometry. Working closely together with Andrew in the early 1980s was a great experience. Reaching a complete understanding of the processing of the Hipparcos data was paramount, and would lead on occasion to weeks of sorting out the last details in both description and implementation, to such extent that algorithms developed then did not require any changes or improvements throughout the Hipparcos reductions, including the later re-reduction.
One other way Andrew will remain with us for a long time to come is through his book Vectorial Astrometry, still a unique reference for the description of the reference frames we encounter in astrometric studies.
Andrew will be much missed, but his contributions to space astrometry live on.
Text: Floor van Leeuwen, IoA
Picture: Margaret Penston
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