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Retired university astrophysics professor dies at 74

| Friday, August 27, 2021

Terrence Retting, a retired astrophysics professor for Notre Dame, died Sunday, August 22, according to Notre Dame News.

An Indiana University alumnus, Retting earned a degree in astrophysics before beginning his work at the University in 1983, becoming a full professor in the physics department by 2001.

Peter Garnavich, physics department chair, views Retting as a key founder of Notre Dame’s astronomy program.

While teaching students and moving up the tenure track, Retting also helped create the longest-running Research Experience for Undergraduates physics programs in the country.

“He played a leading role in operations for Notre Dame’s two telescopes, the Sarah L. Krizmanich Telescope in the Jordan Hall of Science Observatory and the Napoleon Telescope in Nieuwland Science Hall,” Garnavich said.

Also located in Jordan Hall, Retting assisted in planning the Digital Visualization Theater, which provides professors the opportunity to teach under a 50-foot-diameter dome featuring some of the most advanced projection technology often used to display high-resolution images.

Apart from his personal career accomplishments, fellow physics professors remember Retting as a friendly, calm colleague and a dedicated researcher.

He studied the collapse of proto-planetary disks and several unique conditions under which planets form. In 2000, the International Astronomical Union named an asteroid “Retting” in honor of his contributions to the field of astrophysics.

He is survived not only by his lasting research but also by his wife, Shari, three stepchildren, five grandchildren, three sisters, two brothers, his stepmother, an aunt and uncle and his nieces and nephews.

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