SSL Community Mourns Astronomer Garrett Jernigan

Photo of Garrett Jernigan by Lynn Cominskey

Astronomer Jesse Garrett Jernigan, Jr., known to all as Garrett, passed away unexpectedly on May 9, 2022 in Petaluma, California. He was 71.

Jernigan’s work in high energy astrophysics and related instrumentation led to noteworthy discoveries involving cataclysmic variables, X-ray and gamma ray burst sources, quasars and pulsars.

After moving to California in 1981, Jernigan became a Senior Fellow and later Associate Research Physicist at the Space Sciences Laboratory, where he worked until his retirement in 2011. A kind and loyal man, Garrett has been described as a visionary who believed that everyone should have access to what technology can do to improve their lives — not simply those who can afford it.

Read the full AAS tribute by his wife of 42 years, Lynn Cominsky.