The world lost one of its most brilliant minds today (March 14) when the renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking passed away at the age of 76.
As a physicist, Hawking rose to fame for his work on black holes and the origins of the universe. He was also a stellar science communicator who authored several best-selling books that made astrophysics and cosmology accessible to people with no scientific background. But Hawking was also someone with a remarkable sense of humor, which he maintained even as he suffered from a degenerative nerve disease that left him bound to a wheelchair for life.
Despite his physical limitations, Hawking traveled the world to share his love for science with the public. He even made a few cameos on TV shows like "The Big Bang Theory" and "Star Trek: The Next Generation." Friends and celebrities took to social media to mourn his death and celebrate his incredible life. Here are some of their most touching tweets. [Stephen Hawking: A Physics Icon Remembered in Photos]
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Hanneke Weitering is a multimedia journalist in the Pacific Northwest reporting on the future of aviation at FutureFlight.aero and Aviation International News and was previously the Editor for Spaceflight and Astronomy news here at Space.com. As an editor with over 10 years of experience in science journalism she has previously written for Scholastic Classroom Magazines, MedPage Today and The Joint Institute for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After studying physics at the University of Tennessee in her hometown of Knoxville, she earned her graduate degree in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting (SHERP) from New York University. Hanneke joined the Space.com team in 2016 as a staff writer and producer, covering topics including spaceflight and astronomy. She currently lives in Seattle, home of the Space Needle, with her cat and two snakes. In her spare time, Hanneke enjoys exploring the Rocky Mountains, basking in nature and looking for dark skies to gaze at the cosmos.