Dilhan Eryurt Biography | Early Life, Discovery, Is she still Alive?
Who is Dilhan Eryurt
Dilhan Eryurt was a Turkish astrophysicist known for her contributions to the first human-crewed landing on the moon.
She was also known for her contributions to scientific research on the formation and evolution of the Sun and other main-sequence stars.
Dilhan Eryurt was born in İzmir, Turkey, on 29 November 1926. Her father, Abidin Ege, was a member of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in 1944, while information about her mother isn’t known.
Shortly after her birth, she moved to Istanbul and later on to Ankara after a few years. She had her formal education in Ankara, where she graduated from the Ankara Girl’s High School.
Having an interest in mathematics right from high school, Dilhan enrolled in the Istanbul University Department of Mathematics and Astronomy, where she pursued her interest in astronomy.
Dilhan graduated from Istanbul University in 1946 and immediately got a job as an honorary assistant for Tevfik Oktay Kabakçıoğlu, a position she held for two years.
After a while, she was assigned to open an Astronomy Department at Ankara University while continuing her graduate studies at Michigan.
Finally, in 1953, she was awarded her doctorate at the Ankara University Department of Astrophysics and became an Associate Professor.
In 1959, through a two-year scholarship from the International Atomic Energy Agency, Dilhan traveled to Canada. During her time there, she worked with Alastair G. W. Cameron.
While in Canada, she taught herself how to use computers for her work, a skill she was yet to learn.
Next, she went to the US, where she worked for the Soroptimist Federation of America at Indiana University and with Marshall Wrubel to identify stellar models at the Goethe Link Observatory.
What did Dilhan Eryurt discover?
After this, Dilhan worked as the only woman astronomer at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, working alongside Alastair G.W. Cameron on the research on solar evolution.
In 1969, she was awarded the Apollo Achievement Award to contribute to the Apollo 11 mission’s first landing on the moon.
She was also cited for her contribution to the lunar exploration. For the task, Dilhan had provided the NASA engineers with crucial information for modeling solar impact on the lunar environment.
After her two years of research study at the Goddard Institute, Dilhan worked as a Senior Researcher.
While there, she was sent by the institute to the University of California, where she worked on forming and developing main-sequence stars. Dilhan organized the first National Astronomy Congress in 1968.
Dilhan continued her scientific research work at NASA between 1969 and 1973. Then, she returned to the Middle East Technical University in the Physics Department and founded the Astrophysics Branch In 1973.
She was awarded the TÜBİTAK Science Award in 1977, while in 1988, she was the Chairperson of the Physics Department for six months.
Later on, she became the Dean of the Faculty of Science and Literature for five years; in 1993, she retired.
Dilhan Eryurt was married to Sabahattin Eryurt, although information about their marriage isn’t recorded online.
Is Dilhan Eryurt still alive?
On 13 September 2012, it was announced that Dilhan Eryurt had passed away at the age of 85 from a heart attack.
How did google honor Dr Dilhan
In July 2020, she was honored with Google Doodle to commemorate the 51st anniversary of the first human-crewed landing on the moon as part of the Apollo 11 mission.
During her time alive, Dilhan was one of the most successful astrophysicists recorded, no doubt earning her a lot financially, although the particular figure has been recorded.