Obituary: Professor Peter McGregor 1955–2015

Written by Professor Matthew Colless and Professor John Norris.

Professor Peter McGregor was instrumental in the success of the Mount Stromlo Observatory and he spent all but two years of his working life there. He died in March 2015 at the age of 59.

Peter first came to Stromlo as a vacation scholar in 1975, then again as a graduate student, receiving his PhD in 1981.

After a short period as a Carnegie Fellow in the US, he joined the staff at Stromlo in 1984, where he remained for the next 30 years as a mainstay of the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Peter was an outstanding example of a rare and valuable species: a high-quality research astronomer who was also a top-notch builder of astronomical instruments.

Peter first built the CASPIR infrared imager for the University's 2.3-metre telescope at Siding Spring Observatory, with which he took famous pictures of the impact of Comet Shoemaker-Levy on Jupiter.

Peter's next two instruments were a spectrograph (NIFS) and an imager (GSAOI) for the two eight-metre telescopes of the International Gemini Observatory.