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This profile was last updated on 5/13/13  and contains information from public web pages.

Director of Observatory and An Ad...

Phone: (978) ***-****  HQ Phone
Email: p***@***.edu
Merrimack College
315 Turnpike Street
North Andover, Massachusetts 01845
United States

Company Description: Merrimack College was founded in 1947 and is a small, comprehensive, modern Catholic center of higher learning in the Northeast. Merrimack College reflects in its...   more

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations

  • 4M Advisor


  • PhD , Mathematics
15 Total References
Web References
Now, thanks to the work of ..., 13 May 2013 [cached]
Now, thanks to the work of faculty member Don Cameron and Merrimack professor Ralph Pass, the Brooks community can once again enjoy a true hidden gem on campus.
As part the 2012 Winter Term course, Cameron hosted Merrimack College Adjunct Professor Ralph Pass, who was a member of the NASA team for every manned Apollo mission.
Pass was happy to offer support and advice on getting the telescope up-and-running. Eventually, he even offered some of the parts the telescope needed - a huge help to Brooks. Because of his work in the industry, Pass was able to secure items such as a new handset for the scope.
"Ralph wrote his own computer program that communicated with the telescope.
They start to get an idea of size, a sense of how complicated it is, and how vast it is," said Pass.
Ralph Pass, director of ..., 5 Feb 2010 [cached]
Ralph Pass, director of observatory and an adjunct astronomy professor at Merrimack College in North Andover, was there this week planning a visit for his astronomy class.
"It was really a matter of ..., 4 Oct 2007 [cached]
"It was really a matter of national pride," said Ralph Pass, astronomy lecturer at Merrimack College.
"There was a big push after Sputnik to fill a perceived gap in our education," said Pass, who worked for NASA on the Apollo program.
- Merrimack College Astronomy lecturer Ralph Pass, 60, of Andover
"Everybody was watching the coverage intently.We were cheering for them, but obviously we felt a little competitive.The Russians certainly put an acceleration on all of the U.S.'s programs.
4M Advisors - Ralph Pass Full Bio, 9 Nov 2006 [cached]
Ralph Pass
Ralph Pass started in astronomy with the Mars Opposition of 1956. This incited an interest in Astronomy and Mathematics. He has a PhD in Mathematics, worked for NASA in the Apollo program and on early launch support for many unmanned missions, including ISEE-C, Voyager-1, and Voyager-2. During all the manned Apollo missions Dr. Pass provided support for the telemetry link between the spacecraft and Houston, provided command link support between Houston and the spacecraft, and provided tracking support of the spacecraft. He also was part of the team supporting I.I. Shapiro's use of the Apollo antennae for VLBI support. He provided tracking support for the first General Relativity space mission, Gravity-A. He provided Planetarium shows and star parties to the general public as part of public outreach of NASA.
He was a participant in the Small Telescope Science Program of the University of Maryland in support of the Deep Impact Mission. He also provided support to JPL for the Deep Space I flyby of Comet Borrelly. For each of these missions he provided comet imagery support using his Meade LX200 telescope and Meade Pictor CCD Imagers.
Dr. Pass' connection with Meade started in 1994 when he purchased an 8" LX200 classic. The following year he built a Cookbook Camera CCD and used it with the LX200, programming his own telescope and camera control software. In 1996 he purchased a Meade Pictor 416 CCD Camera. Since then he has acquired several Meade telescopes, including an RCX400 12" and several more imagers including a Meade Pictor 1616 CCD Camera, Meade Deep Sky Imager, and Meade Deep Sky Imager PRO II. He has used his Meade imagers on other telescopes including an OGS 20" RC. He has also used SBIG ST-7 and ST-10 imagers with his Meade telescopes.
Among his activities now are teaching Astronomy at Merrimack College and a continuing interest in astrophotography/astroimaging.
Ralph Pass' Website This is Ralph's personal website with hundreds of his images. There are lots of astro images, as well as images from his home observatory with his Meade RCX telescope. Also, check out his article about what to do with 100 minutes and a Meade DSI.
Mars - by contrast - appears ..., 5 Aug 2012 [cached]
Mars - by contrast - appears merely as a "little orange dot" in the night sky, says Dr. Ralph Pass, an adjunct physics professor at Merrimack and director of the college's Mendel Observatory.
"Mars never really steals the show," said Pass.
"If it crashes and doesn't land properly it's going to be a disaster," said Pass.
"It's really amazing what this thing can do," said Pass.
When it comes to the eternal search for life beyond Earth, Pass said humans are likely fixated on the right place.
"I think if we we're going to discover life or former life, that would be the place we should look," said Pass.
Pass and Gamache said they believe with reasonable probability there was once life on Mars.
Pass said Mars is far more suitable for life than other toxic planets in the solar system like Venus. And while other far-away destinations like Jupiter's moon Europa and Saturn's moon Titan show promise, Pass said Mars has the advantage of proximity to Earth.
"Mars is next door," said Pass.
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