Janet Akyüz Mattei (January 2, 1943 – March 22, 2004) was a Turkish-American astronomer who was the director of the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) from 1973 to 2004.

Janet Akyüz Mattei
JanetAkyuzMattei.jpg
Born(1943-01-02)January 2, 1943
DiedMarch 22, 2004(2004-03-22) (aged 61)
NationalityTurkish and American
AwardsCentennial Medal of the Société Astronomique de France, 1987
George Van Biesbroeck Prize
American Astronomical Society (1993)
Leslie Peltier Award
Astronomical League (1993)
Giovanni Battista Lacchini Award for collaboration with amateur astronomers, Unione Astrofili Italiani (1995)
Jackson-Gwilt Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (1995)
Scientific career
FieldsAstronomy and planetary science
InstitutionsAmerican Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)

BiographyEdit

Mattei was born in Bodrum, Turkey to Bella and Baruh Akyüz, in a Turkish Jewish family[1] and educated in the American Collegiate Institute, İzmir. She came to the United States for university studies, and attended Brandeis University[2] in Waltham, MA on the Wien Scholarship. Later, she was offered a job by Dorrit Hoffleit at the Maria Mitchell Observatory in Nantucket, Massachusetts.

She worked at Leander McCormick Observatory in Charlottesville, Virginia from 1970 to 1972 and received her M.A. in Astronomy from the University of Virginia in 1972 and her Ph.D. in Astronomy from Ege University in Izmir, Turkey, 1982.

As head of the AAVSO for over 30 years, she collected observations of variable stars by amateur astronomers from around the world. She coordinated many important observing programs between amateur observers and professional astronomers. She was also keenly interested in education and student science projects. Under her direction, the database of the association was made available to educators[3] and also assisted non-professional astronomers access the Hubble Space Telescope.

Awards and honorsEdit

Mattei won many awards, including the Centennial Medal of the Société Astronomique de France, 1987; George Van Biesbroeck Prize, American Astronomical Society, 1993; Leslie Peltier Award, Astronomical League, 1993; first Giovanni Battista Lacchini Award for collaboration with amateur astronomers, Unione Astrofili Italiani, 1995; and the Jackson-Gwilt Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, 1995. Asteroid 11695 Mattei was named in her honor on 9 January 2001 (M.P.C. 41938).[4]

DeathEdit

She died of leukemia in Boston in March 2004.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ The Janet Mattei Gravesite", AAVSO, Volume 33, 2005, p. 149.
  2. ^ "Janet Akyuz Mattei (1943 - 2004) - American Astronomical Society". aas.org.
  3. ^ Janet Akyuz Mattei, Astronomer, Dies at 61. The New York Times
  4. ^ "11695 Mattei (1998 FA74)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 5 December 2018.

External linksEdit