Bohdan PaczyÅ„ski or Bohdan Paczynski was a Polish astronomer, a leading scientist in theory of the evolution of stars, accretion discs and gamma ray bursts.
PaczyÅ„ski was born February 8, 1940, in Vilnius, Lithuania to a family of a lawyer and a teacher of Polish literature. In 1945 his family chose to leave for Poland and settled in KrakÃ³w, and then in 1949 in Warsaw. Already at the age of 18 PaczyÅ„ski published his first scientific article in Acta Astronomica. Between 1959 and 1962 he studied astronomy at the University of Warsaw. Two years later he received a doctorate under tutelage of Stefan Piotrowski and WÅ‚odzimierz Zonn.
In 1962 PaczyÅ„ski became a member of the Centre of Astronomy of the Polish Academy of Sciences, where he continued to work for nearly 20 years. In 1974 he received habilitation and in 1979 became a professor. Thanks to his works on theoretical astronomy, at the age of 36 he became the youngest member of the Polish Academy of Sciences.
In 1981 PaczyÅ„ski visited United States, where he gave a series of lectures at Caltech to former interns at his Warsaw-based institute. After the introduction of the Martial Law in Poland he decided to stay abroad. He was The Lyman Spitzer Jr. Professor of Astrophysics at Princeton University.