Family of Minn. Astronomer Shares Memories on Eve of Lunar Eclipse

Updated: 04/15/2014 7:17 AM
Created: 04/14/2014 9:35 PM
By: Tim Sherno

The lunar eclipse overnight Monday reminded a local family of their father and grandfather.

A three page, single-spaced list produced with a manual typewriter lists the astronomical career of Minnesota native Edward A. Halbach.

The list includes accomplishments and awards and chronicles the milestones of a passion that lasted from 1931 to 1986 and beyond.

Halbach's daughter, Mary Nordlie, says events like the most recent lunar eclipse are a lasting connection with her childhood.

"Immediately I think of my father," she said. "'Kids, go to bed early; we're going to go look out the telescope. We're going to see the eclipse.'"

Nordlie says her dad traveled the world to get just the right vantage point to observe planetary events.

"He was in Africa, Asia, Siam - which is Thailand - and down in South America," she said.

Halbach's life's work was honored by renaming an asteroid in his memory. Asteroid number 357546 is now known as "Edwardhalbach."

Nordlie says she often thinks about her dad as she looks up into the star-dappled night.

"When the sky is clear and when we ever think about it and there's a twinkle up there, we know it's dad up in the sky," she said.

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