Named in honour of Alastair G. W. Cameron (b. 1925 in Winnipeg, d.2005 in Tucson), astrophysicist and cosmogonist and currently associate director for theoretical astrophysics at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Known to his colleagues as "Big Al", Cameron has, in his long and distinguished career, been a prolific producer of cosmogonical theories, never hesitating to revise or replace them when confronted with new data. He has consistently emphasized that the origin of planetary systems must be understood in the context of star formation. He was among the first to advocate such concepts as a turbulent accretion disk solar nebula, and the origin of the moon by a giant impact on the proto-earth. Cameron has also contributed greatly to studies of nucleosynthesis in stars and supernovae, and to understanding the significance of the cosmic abundances of nuclides. This work has been valuable for interpreting the meteoritic record of the early history of the solar system.
Reference: MPC 18449