Reference Work Entry

Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

pp 259-261


Bok, Bart Jan

  • Raymond E. WhiteAffiliated withUniversity of Arizona 

BornHoorn, the Netherlands, 28 April 1906

DiedTucson, Arizona, USA, 5 August 1983

Bok, Bart Jan. Courtesy of Mrs. Joyce Ambruster

Bart Bok was the son of Sergeant Major Jan Bok (Royal Dutch Army) and Gesina Annetta (née van der Lee) Bok. Bart Bok’s name is associated with the Bok globules, small, dark, gas clouds, many of which are forming – or about to form – new stars. He was also one of Harvard’s early champions of star formation as an important, ongoing process, at a time when Jesse Greenstein and others were not so sure. He attended primary school in Hoorn and secondary school in The Hague. Bok entered Leiden University in 1924; two of his classmates were Gerard Kuiper and Pieter Theodorus Oosterhoff. Upon graduation in 1927, Bok was accepted by Groningen University, where he pursued a doctorate in astronomy under Piet van Rhijn. He studied the η Carinae region for his dissertation; his Ph.D. was awarded in 1933. In 1929, Bok married astronomer Priscilla Fairfield; the couple raised ...

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