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Barry LaBonte (1950-2005)

Photo by Richard Wainscoat

Solar astronomer Barry LaBonte, who worked at IfA from 1981 to 2001 and served as director of Mees Solar Observatory on Haleakala from 1995 to 1997, died on October 24 of complications following surgery.

LaBonte's early work at IfA was in the area of helioseismology, which studies the Sun's interior by observing the changes on its surface. In the 1990s, he focused on analyzing data taken with the Imaging Vector Magnetograph, an instrument at Mees, and on working with data taken from space observatories, including the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and Yohkoh. During his time at IfA, LaBonte also served as the dissertation advisor to several UH astronomy students.

In 2001, he left the IfA to pursue new opportunities at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland. He is survived by his wife Beatrice Hawkins and three children.