Nebraska Authors

Alan D. Fiala

Born 1942-11-09 Beatrice, NE (USA)

Died 2010-05-26
Arlington, VA (USA)

Odell, NE (USA)
Odell Bohemian Cemetery

The author was an internationally known astronomer who developed software for calculating eclipse phenomena and generating eclipse maps. His technology is still the basis of eclipse computations today. A world expert on eclipse calculations, he was the lead author of the chapter on eclipse calculations in the 1992 Explanatory Supplement to the Astronomical Almanac.

Places Lived

Beatrice, NE
Northfield, MN
New Haven, CT
Washington, D.C.

Author Of

  • Nonfiction


Lunar Eclipses; Astronomy


High School Diploma, 1960, Beatrice Public High School, Beatrice, NE
Bachelor of Arts in Astronomy, 1963, Carleton College, Northfield, MN
Ph.D. in Astronomy, 1968, Yale University, New Haven, CT


Astronomer, United States Naval Observatory
Publisher, United States Naval Observatory
Deputy Director of of the Orbital Mechanics Department, United States Naval Observatory
Chief Director, Nautical Almanac Office, United States Naval Observatory
Master Beekeeper

Places Worked

United States Naval Observatory, Washington D.C. (1968-2000)


Internationally Known Astronomer
Captain James Melville Gilliss Award for Service, United States Naval Observatory
Graduated from Carleton College Summa Cum Laude
Beatrice High School Hall of Fame Award, 1998
Minor Planet 3695 Fiala named in his honor, 2000


Phi Beta Kappa
Sigma Xi
Pi Mu Epsilon
International Astronomical Union, elected in 1976
Virginia State Beekeepers Association
American Astronomical Society
Institute of Navigation
American Astronomical Society Division on Dynamical Astronomy, Chair


Canon of Lunar Eclipses, 1500 BC - AD 3000. 1993. (with Bao-Lin Liu)

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Alan D. Fiala

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(e.g. Author is buried in Fremont, not in David City / Also wrote for the Daily Nebraskan during her time as a student)