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Jesús Maíz-Apellániz

Jesús Maíz-Apellániz


Anybody who knew Jesús Maíz-Apellániz as a kid would probably have predicted that he would go on to become an astronomer. After all, how many 6-year-olds memorize the names of the only eight stars colder than the sun from a book (and tell them to basically every one who come to their house, whether they are interested or not)? Jesús, who was born in beautiful San Sebastián in the Basque Country near the Spanish-French border and grew up in Madrid, finally ended up traveling thousands of miles to fulfill his professional wish. He studied at the California Institute of Technology ( Caltech) and later acquired his Master of Arts in Astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley. After that, he went back to Spain, where he taught for a couple of years at university, before recently obtaining his Ph.D. in Astrophysics at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

Although he likes all fields in astronomy, he is most fascinated by mysteries about stellar evolution, so he focuses on star formation in nearby galaxies. Sometimes when he is trying to solve these mysteries using today's complicated instruments, huge telescopes and sophisticated computers, he wonders how the ancient Greeks like Hipparchos, Ptolemy or Aristarchus were able to calculate, as correctly as they did, the size of the Earth or the distance to the Moon without any aid other than simple measurements and mathematics.

When Jesús is not working at Space Telescope Science Institute he likes walking in the countryside and watching movies - especially with his wife. And he is still an avid reader, although he does not insist any more on telling everything he learned to everybody who happens to come his way.......