Andre Brahic 1942-2016

Andre BrahicThe planetary community, and in particular his French colleagues and friends, are very sad to announce the passing of André Brahic. Professor at the University Paris-Diderot, based at the Observatory of Paris until 1995 and the AIM laboratory at CEA Saclay, André Brahic devoted most of his career to the study of solar system bodies, in particular of planetary rings and the formation of planets, but started out by working on the chaos theory, the dynamics of galaxies and the supernovas. He was a member of the scientific teams of the cameras on Voyager 1 and 2, through which he made many discoveries and notably confirmed the existence of Neptune rings and the arcs of the Adams ring, that he had predicted. With an international team, he showed that the Adams ring, is actually composed of four arcs that he and his collaborators baptized “Courage”, “Liberté”, “Egalité”, “Fraternité” (CLEF for “KEY” in French). He was also a member of the science team on the Cassini mission, still returning amazing science results from the Saturnian system, that André would have liked to follow until the mission’s end.  André Brahic was of course also an extraordinary communicator, who transmitted his passion for science and astrophysics to generations of students and to the public. This has probably incited many of today astronomers career choices, as it was for me – André was my professor during the Master degree. He knew how to communicate his enthusiasm for science to everyone, whatever their level of education. André Brahic received the DPS Carl Sagan Medal in 2001 and the Jean Perrin 2006 award for scientific popularization. In July 2015, he received the insignia of Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur in France.  André Brahic has left an impressive heritage and will always be remembered as a great scientist, a great teacher and a great advocate of communicating with the public.

Athena Coustenis