Donald W. McCarthy - AAS Education Prize
For his tireless efforts over the past three decades through the University of Arizona’s Astronomy Camp to educate and involve more than 1500 students, teachers and adults in astronomy and the scientific method using authentic inquiry; and for expanding the model internationally through the Tecnológico de Monterrey.
Eric B. Ford - Helen B. Warner Prize
The Helen B. Warner Prize is awarded to Eric B. Ford (University of Florida) for his theoretical and computational research in the field of extrasolar planets, including ground-breaking work on the dynamical evolution of planetary systems and planet formation. This work has established the importance of gravitational scattering within exoplanet systems, quantified the uncertainty in exoplanet orbits, led to immediately useful and testable observational predictions, and aided the efficient design of new exoplanet searches.
John A. Johnson - Newton Lacy Pierce Prize
The Newton Lacy Pierce Prize is awarded to John A. Johnson (Caltech) for major contributions to understanding fundamental relationships between extrasolar planets and their parent stars, including finding a variety of orientations between planetary orbital planes and the spin axes of their stars, developing a rigorous understanding of planet detection rates in transit and direct imaging experiments, and examining possible correlations between planet frequency and the mass and metallicity of their host stars.
Heather Knutson - Annie Jump Cannon Award
The Annie Jump Cannon Award in Astronomy is awarded to Heather Knutson for her pioneering work on the characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres. Her ground-breaking observations of wavelength-dependent thermal emission of exoplanets over large fractions of their orbit enable a longitudinal mapping of brightness to reveal details of atmospheric dynamic s, energy transport, inversion layers, and chemical composition. This work has expanded the rich field of planetary characterization by providing new windows into the atmospheres of planets beyond the confines of our solar system. It has inspired numerous other theoretical and observational investigations and will serve as an important technique used with current and future space observatories to gain fundamental insight into the properties of exoplanetary atmospheres.
C. Megan Urry - George van Biesbroeck Prize
The George van Biesbroeck Prize is awarded to C. Megan Urry for her tireless efforts to enhance the participation of women in astronomy and other scientific disciplines, through the organization of meetings, written works, lectures and effective mentoring, done outside and in addition to her work as a scientist.
Ronald L. Gilliland - Beatrice M. Tinsley Prize
The Beatrice M. Tinsley Prize is awarded to Ronald L. Gilliland for his innovative work on ultra-high signal-to-noise observations related to time-domain photometry and the opening of this new frontier.
W. David Arnett - Henry Norris Russell Lectureship
The Henry Norris Russell Lectureship of the American Astronomical Society is awarded to W. David Arnett, Regents Professor at the University of Arizona, for a lifetime of seminal contributions to the fields of stellar explosions, nuclear astrophysics and hydrodynamics. Arnett has for many years been a leader in developing our understanding of core collapse processes and nucleosynthesis in massive stars. He has also done pioneering work on thermonuclear burning in White Dwarf stars and on the origin of Type Ia supernovae, which are at the center of contemporary observational cosmology.
Caleb A. Scharf - Chambliss Writing Award
This year’s Chambliss Writing Award is awarded to Caleb A. Scharf, for his groundbreaking textbook “Extrasolar Planets and Astrobiology” (University Science Books, 2009). This book provides a rigorous treatment of astrobiological topics of contemporary interest; it spans a wide range of subjects including physics, astronomy, chemistry, and biology. This book thus breaks ground as a bridge between astronomy and biology, and is likely to become the standard textbook for advanced undergraduates, or beginning graduate students, interested in the emerging field of astrobiology. This area of study is becoming essential to the growing fields of exoplanet formation, detection, and characterization. As one reviewer remarked, “Scharf’s book is a timely way of introducing young astronomers to this exciting new field.”
Chryssa Kouveliotou - Dannie Heineman Prize
The Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics is awarded to Chryssa Kouveliotou for her extensive accomplishments and discoveries in the areas of gamma ray bursts and their afterglows, soft gamma repeaters, and magnetars. Particularly notable are Dr. Kouveliotou’s abilities to create collaborations and her effectiveness and insights in using multiwavelength observations.
M. M. (Thijs) de Graauw - Joseph Weber Award for Astronomical Instrumentation
M. M. (Thijs) de Graauw is awarded the Joseph Weber Award for Astronomical Instrumentation for his leadership in the construction of powerful new astronomical instruments including the Short Wavelength Spectrometer on ISO and the Heterodyne Instrument For the Infrared on Herschel.
Tim Puckett - Chambliss Amateur Award
In 1997, amateur astronomer Tim Puckett completed work on a custom 0.60-meter telescope at his observatory in Georgia (USA). Only a year later, he started the Puckett Observatory World Supernova Search program that has, to date, discovered more than 200 supernovae. The early detection of supernova, while still on the rise, can lead to obtaining vital informat
ion on these objects. Understanding the several types of supernovae has profound implications in astrophysics and cosmology, e.g., the type Ia supernova are the “yard sticks” used to measure the vast distances of the Universe. The quick identification of and discovery announcement a new supernova and by Puckett and his team members has allowed astronomers to observe supernova through important stages of their evolution and so advance theories on the physical processes that cause some stars to exit the stage in violent bursts of light and energy, sometimes outshining their host galaxy.