Seven MIT neighborhood members have been honored with 2022 American Astronomical Society (AAS) prizes and awards.
These awarded embrace two assistant professors of physics, Erin Kara and Kiyoshi Masui, in addition to alumni Camille Carlisle SM ’10, Charles Keith Gendreau PhD ’95, Laura Lopez ’04, Richard Mushotzky ’68, and Donald York ’66.
Newton Lacy Pierce Prize in Astronomy
Erin Kara, an assistant professor of physics with the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Area Analysis, was awarded the Newton Lacy Pierce Prize in Astronomy, which is awarded yearly to younger astronomers for excellent achievement in observational astronomical analysis over the previous 5 years. Kara was acknowledged for her “modern and sustained contributions to high-energy astrophysics.”
Kara is an observational astrophysicist, working to know the physics behind how black holes develop and have an effect on their environments. Kara’s pioneering work contains high-impact research of the plasma round black gap methods, and the primary detection of X-ray reverberations in a tidal disruption occasion — high-energy echoes that may assist us to raised perceive what occurs when a star is torn aside by a black gap.
X-ray reverberation mapping permits astronomers to map the fuel falling onto black holes and measure the results of strongly curved spacetime near the occasion horizon.
“We’re on the beginnings of having the ability to use these mild echoes to reconstruct the environments closest to the black gap,” Kara says. “Now we’ve proven these echoes are generally noticed, and we’re capable of probe connections between a black gap’s disk, jet, and corona in a brand new manner.”
Kara is a NASA Collaborating Scientist for XRISM Observatory, a joint Japan Aerospace Exploration Company/NASA X-ray spectroscopy mission, and co-chairs the supermassive black gap working group. She can also be working with MIT training and music students to transform the emission from a typical X-ray echo into audible sound waves.
“I used to be simply so honored that my colleagues needed to appoint me for this recognition, and profitable the award is the cherry on high,” says Kara. “I hope this prize motivates extra early-career scientists to pursue the thrilling area of high-energy astrophysics. I’m grateful to work with essentially the most considerate, diligent, and supportive group of scholars, postdocs, and collaborators. They encourage me to be a greater mentor and scientist, they usually make my job an actual pleasure.”
The Lancelot M. Berkeley–New York Neighborhood Belief Prize for Meritorious Work in Astronomy went to the Canadian Hydrogen Depth Mapping Experiment quick radio burst (CHIME/FRB) crew. The CHIME crew contains the members of the Synoptic Radio Lab, which is a part of the MIT Kavli Institute and led by Assistant Professor Kiyoshi Masui, a radio astronomer and cosmologist whose work spans principle, information evaluation, observations, and instrumentation.
The three AAS vice presidents, in session with the editor-in-chief of the AAS journals, acknowledged the CHIME/FRB crew for meritorious analysis printed throughout the previous 12 months. Their article “A vibrant millisecond-duration radio burst from a Galactic magnetar,” printed in Nature in November 2020, recognized the primary identified quick radio burst inside our personal galaxy, and tied this flash to its potential supply, a identified magnetar within the Milky Approach. This work has proven that a minimum of some quick radio bursts might originate from younger, energetic magnetars — extremely magnetized and dense remnants of huge stars.
CHIME is a radio telescope in British Columbia, composed of huge half-pipe-shaped reflectors that focus radio waves onto a thousand wide-bandwidth antennas. The telescope has no shifting components; it “factors” via digital sign processing of the antenna alerts.
“This revolutionary, digitally pushed design permits us to see giant swaths of the sky concurrently, which is right for mapping the cosmos or recognizing temporary transient occasions,” says Masui.
Masui can also be the corresponding creator for CHIME/FRB’s first giant information launch of over 500 quick radio bursts — temporary and highly effective flashes of radio waves with enigmatic origins. Though quick radio bursts had been found in 2007, solely about 140 of them beforehand had been discovered.
The CHIME challenge is co-led by the College of British Columbia, McGill College, the College of Toronto, and the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory, with collaborating establishments throughout North America together with MIT.
Science journalist Camille Carlisle SM ’10, a graduate of the MIT Graduate Program in Science Writing, obtained the 2022 David N. Schramm Award for high-energy astrophysics science journalism for her article “Gravitational Wave Detectors Discover Thriller ‘Mass Hole’ Object,” which appeared in Sky & Telescope on June 25, 2020.
Keith Charles Gendreau PhD ’95 obtained the Excessive Power Astrophysics Division’s 2022 Bruno Rossi Prize for his contribution to high-energy astrophysics. He was acknowledged for his work whereas on the NASA Goddard Area Flight Heart and with the Neutron Star Inside Composition Explorer (NICER) crew for the event of NICER, which has offered insights concerning the “excessive environments of neutron stars and black holes, together with the primary exact and dependable measurement of a pulsar’s mass and radius from detailed modeling of its pulsed waveform.”
Laura Lopez ’04, a physics alumna and previous Einstein Fellow and Pappalardo Fellow, is an affiliate professor at Ohio State College. Lopez was acknowledged with the 2022 HEAD Early Profession Prize for her “novel and sustained contributions to our understanding of supernova remnants and compact objects within the native universe.”
Richard Mushotzky ’68, a professor on the College of Maryland, obtained the 2022 Henry Norris Russell Lectureship, which celebrates a profession of eminence in astronomical analysis. Mushotzky was acknowledged for “a lifetime of modern X-ray and multiwavelength analysis,” together with foundational research of the properties of energetic galactic nuclei and the composition and buildings of sizzling fuel in clusters of galaxies. Mushotzky will current the Russell Lecture on the January 2023 AAS assembly in Seattle, Washington.
Donald York ’66, Horace B. Horton Professor Emeritus on the College of Chicago, obtained the George Van Biesbroeck Prize, which honors “a dwelling particular person for long-term extraordinary or unselfish service to astronomy.” He was acknowledged for the conception and design of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, a significant imaging and spectroscopic survey that has created essentially the most detailed three-dimensional maps of the universe ever made.
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