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Francois Schweizer

François Schweizer

Carnegie Observatories

François Schweizer is a staff astronomer at the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, California. He received his Licentiate in Astronomy from the University of Bern, Switzerland, and his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. After two years as a post-doctoral Fellow at the Carnegie Observatories (then named Hale Observatories) and five years as an astronomer at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, Dr. Schweizer returned to the U.S. in 1981 to join the staff of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, first at its Department of Terrestrial Magnetism in Washington, D.C., and then at its Observatories in Pasadena.

In addition to his research into the formation of globular clusters, Dr. Schweizer studies the structure, formation, and evolution of galaxies. For many years, he has focused his work on colliding and merging galaxies. Once thought to be interesting but rare events, collisions and mergers are now perceived as one of the dominant processes governing galaxy formation and evolution. To obtain new data, he collaborates with teams using the Hubble Space Telescope as well as the Chandra X-ray and Spitzer Infrared Telescopes, and travels regularly to Chile to observe with the Magellan 6.5-meter telescopes at Carnegie's Las Campanas Observatory.

Dr. Schweizer is a member of the American Astronomical Society, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, The Planetary Society, and the International Astronomical Union. Though fascinated by cosmic collisions, he tries to avoid collisions while driving, bicycling, and operating a digitally controlled model railroad. He and his wife Linda have enjoyed raising four daughters.