To foster and recognize excellence in astronomy, the AAS presents awards and prizes for outstanding contributions to astronomical research, education, instrumentation, writing, and service.
2017 Award Recipients
Henry Norris Russell Lectureship
For his leadership role over the last half century in turning infrared astronomy into a fundamental tool for understanding the universe. Becklin has made pioneering discoveries using infrared observations in a wide range of contexts — including the galactic center, star-forming regions, evolved stars, brown dwarfs, exoplanets, and the obscured nuclei of other galaxies — with telescopes on the ground, in the stratosphere, and in space.
Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics
For his observationally grounded theoretical modeling of stars, which has yielded fundamental insights into the physics of stellar structure and evolution, compact objects, and stellar explosions.
Annie Jump Cannon Award
For her work modeling the dynamical interactions of exoplanets in multiplanet systems. Her studies help explain exoplanets’ mutual orbital inclinations and eccentricities as well as their migration toward and away from each other and their host star. She has also written influential papers on the global properties of exoplanet systems, which inform us about their formation histories.
Helen B. Warner Prize
For his work modeling stellar populations and galaxy evolution. He is recognized for his originality and versatility in developing solutions to complex problems in stellar population synthesis and cosmological simulations. He is a world expert in the connection of dark-matter halos to galaxies and has provided critical insights on stellar populations within star clusters, galaxy mass assembly and evolution, and structure formation in a cosmos filled with cold dark matter.
Newton Lacy Pierce Prize
For his work on the chemical abundances of stars in dwarf galaxies. He has done pioneering work in isolating metallicity variations in late-type stars through medium-resolution spectroscopy and in identifying different stellar populations within faint and distant dwarf galaxies. His work has led to a detailed understanding of the alpha-to-iron abundances in Local Group galaxies and has shown a universality in the mass-metallicity relation of dwarf irregular and dwarf spheroidal galaxies.
Ian S. McLean
Joseph Weber Award for Astronomical Instrumentation
For more than 30 years at the forefront of the development of advanced infrared sensor arrays and for his leadership in the design, construction, and deployment of innovative infrared instruments that have had widespread and fundamental scientific impact across a broad community of astronomers.
AAS Education Prize
For his tireless work over more than three decades developing and bringing astronomy education and degree programs into Chilean universities. His work has paved the way for new generations of Chileans to make use of the wealth of astronomy resources in their country and to pursue careers in astronomy. His impressive legacy carries even more weight outside of his country with the development of many of the world’s greatest astronomical observatories.
Kavli Foundation Plenary Lectureship
For her leadership and pioneering techniques applied to the search for dark matter. Dr. Freese’s earlier work decisively ruled out MAssive Compact Halo Objects (MACHOs) as dark-matter candidates. Her ideas on the indirect detection of scalar neutrinos as possible dark-matter particles are being pursued by the IceCube Neutrino Observatory.
Garth D. Illingworth
Lancelot M. Berkeley – New York Community Trust Prize
For his major research programs using innovative tools and techniques to investigate the formation, history, evolution, and nature of the most distant and earliest galaxies. He is awarded the Berkeley Prize for his team’s report describing significant new results, "UV Luminosity Functions at Redshifts z~4 to z~10: 10,000 Galaxies from HST Legacy Fields”, which was one of the most widely cited astrophysics papers of 2015."