Do you know that prominent astronomer, nuclear physicist, Shadia Habbal, is of Syrian origin?

Damascus, SANA- Shadia Habbal, the daughter of Syrian psychologist Na’im al-Rifai, was born in the city of Homs in central Syria, where she finished her secondary education, and then enrolled in Damascus University and received a degree in Physics and Mathematics.

Habbal received a Master’s in Nuclear Physics from the American University of Beirut; and she received her doctorate from the University of Cincinnati in Ohio, USA, in 1977.

She was appointed a researcher at Harvard University’s Smithsonian Center for Space Physics, and received a professorship at the University of Wales in Britain in 2000.

She led 10 expeditions on solar eclipses around the world and headed several scientific teams that participated in the study of solar eclipses in cooperation with NASA in (2006, 2008, 2009).

She played a key role in preparing for the voyage of NASA’s Solar Probe which was the first spacecraft to orbit within the solar atmosphere.

Habbal is the leader of an academic movement of women scientists known as the “Adventurer Women” group.

She Habbal was also appointed as a professor of solar terrestrial physics at the Institute of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. Between (1995-2000) she was a lecturer at Harvard University.

In 2002 she was appointed editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research, Space Physics Section.

Prof Habbal is a member of many professional bodies including the American Astronomical Society, the International Astronomical Union, the Hawaii Institute for Astronomy as well as being a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Translated by: Ruaa al-Jazaeri

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