Alan Hale (astronomer)

Alan Hale (born 1958 in Tachikawa, Japan) is an American astronomer.

Alan Hale was born in Japan, but his family moved still in his first year of life to Alamogordo, New Mexico. After high school he studied from 1976 to 1980 at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. He left the Navy in 1983 and went to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL ) in Pasadena. He was employed there with the Deep Space Network. After the passage of Uranus Voyager 2 he left the JPL and studied at the New Mexico State University in Las Cruces astronomy. After receiving his doctorate in 1992 on Orbital coplanarity in solar -Type Binary Systems: Implications for Planetary System Formation and Detection, he worked for The Space Center in Alamogordo (present-day New Mexico Museum of Space History ), 1993, he founded the Southwest Institute for Space Research whose director he still is.

The work focuses Hales lie in the search for exoplanets and small bodies in the solar system, especially comets and near-Earth asteroids. He was best known for the discovery of the comet Hale- Bopp (irrespective of Thomas Bopp ) and its participation in the International Halley Watch 1986.

Hale lives with his wife Eva and his sons Zachary and Tyler in the Sacramento Mountains in Cloudcroft, New Mexico.