Bruce Woodgate, NASA/GSFC & HST/STIS, May 2014

Bruce Woodgate, the Principal Investigator for the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS), one of the major Hubble Space Telescope instruments, passed away at the end of April, 2014, after suffering two strokes within the prior month.

Bruce was a gentleman, kind and with a wry sense of humor, and a colleague of mine in the Astrophysics Science Division at NASA/GSFC for a decade. (I met him when the Laboratory for High Energy Astrophysics merged with the Laboratory for Astronomy and Solar Physics merged in 2004.)

Bruce retired (well, switched to Emeritus status) in June 2013, and a very nice party was held then, with many people speaking to the crowd attesting to how influential Bruce had been to both modern astrophysics and to their own careers. My gallery of photos from that event are found here.

After Bruce died, notices and tributes to him were published at the American Astronomial Society web site, on's Bad Astronomy Blog, and in his hometown (England) newspaper web site, The Eastbourne Herald, all of which featured a photo of mine from the 2013 party. In addition, the Space Telescope Science Institute Newsletter (Baltimore, MD) and the NASA/GSFC Cutting Edge technology magazine published profiles.

Slate Bad Astronomy blog

Later in the summer (2014) the Space Telescope Science Institute Newsletter and the NASA/GSFC magazine Cutting Edge (about technology at NASA/Goddard) both featured tributes to Bruce.

STSci Newsltr  Cover Cutting Edge Cover

Space Telescope Science Institute Newsletter:

STSci Newsltr  Cover

Cutting Edge:

Cutting Edge Bruce

No idea why the Eastbourne Herald ran such a fuzzy version of the photo.

Eastbourne Herald, UK

My friend and colleague Jay Friedlander created a poster representing accomplishments of Bruce's career, using my photo to anchor the right-hand-side. The poster was presented at the Bruce Woodgate memorial symposium in the summer of 2014. It was printed to 16x20", framed, and hangs in the Building 34 atrium.

GSFC poster by Jay
Bruce Woodgate, June 2013

Technical notes: I was asked on same-day notice to shoot the retirement party, so my own camera gear was at home. I borrowed a Nikon D7000 with an 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 lens and bounce flash. This image was 1/100th at f/5.6, ISO 320 at 66mm, shot as NEF RAW and processed in Adobe Lightroom.