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Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking smiles during a symposium in honor of his birthday at the University of Cambridge Jan. 11, 2002 in Cambridge, England. Hawking turned 60-years-old on Jan. 8, 2002 and is the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, a post once held by Sir Isaac Newton. Sion Touhig/Getty Images hide caption

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Sion Touhig/Getty Images

Stephen Hawking, Who Awed Both Scientists And The Public, Dies

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Stephen Hawking discusses the "Breakthrough Starshot" space exploration initiative during a news conference Tuesday at One World Observatory in New York City. Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Breakthrough Prize Foundation hide caption

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Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Breakthrough Prize Foundation

Stephen Hawking's Plan For Interstellar Travel Has Some Earthly Obstacles

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An image from the European Southern Observatory shows the sky around the bright star Alpha Centauri — which appears so large because of the telescope optics and photographic emulsion — taken from photos in the Digitized Sky Survey 2. Alpha Centauri is the closest star system to Earth's solar system. ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2/Davide De Martin hide caption

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ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2/Davide De Martin

This artist's impression shows the surroundings of the supermassive black hole at the heart of the active galaxy NGC 3783 in the southern constellation of Centaurus. M. Kornmesser/ESO hide caption

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M. Kornmesser/ESO

British cosmologist Stephen Hawking gives a talk to workers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on April 9. Eric Reed/Cedars-Sinai/AP hide caption

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Eric Reed/Cedars-Sinai/AP