Dr. Elliott Paul Moore, Socorro astrophysicist and professor, passed peacefully on May 11, 2021, in Albuquerque, New Mexico — just months following the death of his beloved wife.

Elliott’s parents fled Oklahoma’s dust bowl in the 1930s and settled in Southern California, where they could grow food again.  At age 15, their son was offered early admission, plus a generous scholarship, to the University of Chicago.  There, Elliott became a lab assistant to Nobel laureate, Enrico Fermi, who greatly influenced the youth’s scientific career.

At Chicago, Elliott was one of an elite group of Fermi students — three of whom won their own Nobels in physics.  But when all their work culminated in nuclear fission, with its soon-to-be-catastrophic consequences, Elliott withdrew and refocused on the path of astrophysics.

In grad school, Moore’s ultra-high-resolution lunar images helped create the base-maps for U.S. manned lunar landings.  Then, using an early vacuum-tube computer, Elliott published the first complete model of the collapse of our Sun’s pre-solar cloud.  His PhD at University of Arizona was earned through his spectroscopic analyses of elliptical galaxies, as seen from the “new” Kitt Peak Observatory.

Accepting a position at the New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology (NM Tech), Moore helped establish a telescope capable of searching a thousand galaxies per hour to locate supernovae.  Then in collaboration with NASA engineers, he directed the building of the Joint Observatory for Cometary Research.

In retirement, Moore continued his experimental and theoretical work in M Theory (formerly “string theory”) and researched most of the night (as any compulsive astrophysicist would!)  Visitors and long-time neighbors attest to this quiet man’s ready hospitality, knowing smile and generous intellect.  He also was the consummate international travel-planner!

Dr. Elliott Moore was preceded in death by his wife of 38 years, Elaine Marr.  He is mourned by his sister, Janice Delgado, niece Sky Marchand, brother-in-law Jon Marr, and dearest friends in Socorro.  We ask that in honor of Elliott’s memory, you donate to a progressive, lifegiving cause that you deem worthy.