Søren Meibom
Astronomer (Ph.D.)

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics




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I was born and raised in Odense, Denmark, as the youngest of 3 children. (My hometown is best known as the birth place for the author and poet Hans Christian Andersen.) My parents and grand parents (who lived with us) gave us a wonderful upbringing. My mother worked as a nurse for over 40 years, and my farther as an engineer before he retired early to pursue his ambitions as an artist (his art). My siblings (Frederikke and Anders) now live with their families in Copenhagen and Paris.

I attended public elementary school (Provstegård-skolen), high-school (Sct. Knuds Gymnasium), and the first 3 years of University (Syddansk Universitet) in Odense. My focus was on math and science from high-school on, but by my 3rd year in college, astrophysics caught my attentionas when I met my "astronomical parents" Johannes Andersen and Birgitta Nordstrom.

However, for most of my life (still), the books were merely a distraction from my first love - the game of European football (soccer). For as long as I can remember I was kicking a ball around. I joined the local club (Odense KFUM) at age 5, and later played as a youth player in the clubs B1913 and Odense Boldblub (OB). From about the age of 14 till 17, I played for the Danish national team for ages under 16 and 18. I played games against Italy, the Soviet Union (USSR), Scotland, East Germany (DDR), Hungary, and Nothern Ireland, as well as training matches against club teams like Tottenham, Marsielle, and Napoli. My career on the national team ended when a BIG defender broke my femur just before the European Championship tournament. As a senior player I returned to B1913 and later B93, and played for 6 years in the Danish first division before stopping in 1998.

The end of my football (soccer) career was triggered by my wish to pursue a Ph.D. in astrophysics, and to do so abroad. Having postponed my millitary service throughout my University studies, I stopped playing and enrolled one year prior to finishing my Masters in Physics and Astronomy at University of Copenhagen. I joined the Royal Danish Airforce for a year of millitary training. I enjoyed the shooting range the most and earned a medal for being the best long-distance rifle shot of ~200 soldiers. I ended my millitary career as a sniper and driver of personnel and equipment with semi trucks with trailers.

In the summer of 1999, after finishing millitary service and Masters thesis in parallel, I moved to Madison, Wisconsin, to start my graduate studies. I started to work with Professor Bob Mathieu on studies of open star clusters. This wonderful and ongoing collaboration led to a dissertation with Bob as my advisor, and to graduation in 2005. Madison had other attractions as well. While in graduate school I met my wife Sara. Sara is now an Assistant Professor of Radiology at Boston University, working at Boston Medical Center. We married in 2002 in Denmark, and had our first child in 2003. Sara gave birth to our second child one month prior to my thesis defense and just 3 months prior to her own medical board exam. It was a busy time ... We moved to Boston (Medford) when in 2005 David Latham, at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, offered me a position to work with him on projects related to the planned Kepler space mission.

Inspired by my father, I was drawing, painting, and making sculptures from a young age. Over the years my focus has become mainly oil paintings. At the present time, work and family have pushed my productivity to an all time low. The painting below is from 2014.