Regents’ Professor Emeritus Hal McAlister of Georgia State University was recently named as a Fellow of the American Astronomical Society for 2022.
The American Astronomical Society (AAS) is a major international organization promoting astronomy and the related sciences. It is the main professional society of astronomers in the United States, and it plays a key roles in publishing scientific research, hosting national meetings, and advising government agencies.
Since 2019 the AAS has honored its most distinguished members in annual awards as AAS Fellows for outstanding contributions to astronomy.
AAS President Paula Szkody recently announced the 23 new AAS Fellows for 2022 . The new class includes Dr. Hal McAlister who is cited for his “pioneering work in high angular resolution astronomy including the discovery of thousands of visual binary stars; for founding the GSU Center for High Angular Resolution Astronomy (CHARA); and for a decade of leadership of the historic Mount Wilson Observatory.”
Dr. McAlister helped build the astronomy program at GSU through the development of the PhD graduate program, the construction of the GSU Hard Labor Creek Observatory near Rutledge, Georgia, and the creation of the GSU CHARA Array at Mount Wilson Observatory in California.
According to Dr. Douglas Gies, Director of CHARA, “Hal McAlister was the visionary who led GSU to the forefront of astronomy by building the CHARA Array, the world’s largest interferometer and the best of its kind for making images of distant stars.”
Dr. McAlister is retired but maintains an active scientific life. He is the author of several books including “Seeing the Unseen: Mount Wilson’s role in high angular resolution astronomy.”