James Elliot, Discoverer of Uranus Ring System, Dies

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Astronomer James Elliot, a professor at MIT, has passed away at the age of 67. Elliot was part of a team of astronomers from Cornell University that discovered the rings around the planet Uranus in 1977. Elliot specialized in the techniques of planetary astronomy, particularly stellar occultations, to probe planetary atmospheres and the physical properties of small bodies in the outer solar system and beyond. Of particular interest to him was Pluto, Triton, Kuiper Belt objects and extrasolar planets. Steve Tilford from Steve’s Astro Corner knew Elliot personally and has written a very nice retrospective on Elliot’s life.