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Division News

Mark Clampin Named Director of the Astrophysics Science Division

Please welcome Mark Clampin into the key leadership position of Director of the Astrophysics Science Division. Mark came to Goddard in 2003 from the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI). Mark has been serving as the James Webb Space Telescope Observatory (JWST) Project Scientist at Goddard since 2003, providing science oversight of the Observatory's design through the initial phases of integration. From 2012 to 2014 he also served as the Chief Technologist of the Cosmic Origins and Physics of the Cosmos Program Offices. During the last year, he participated in the development of the Advanced Large Aperture Space Telescope (ATLAST) concept as a Senior Scientist. Mark assumes this position with a broad range of experience covering the scientific, technical and programmatic breadth of the division’s responsibilities. We are delighted he is accepting this new challenge and we look forward to working with him as he leads the outstanding team here in the Astrophysics Science Division.

Sylvain Guiriec wins the 2015 IUPAP Young Scientist Prize in Astrophysics

The 2015 IUPAP Young Scientist Prize in Astrophysics was awarded to Sylvain Guiriec for his “insightful and innovative contributions towards understanding the nature of Gamma Ray Burst (GRB) prompt emission, in particular the establishment of multi-component spectra, and the discovery of a new Peak Energy – Luminosity relation showing that GRBs can be used as standard candles and thereby as unique cosmological probes.”

Steven Snowden wins John C. Lindsay Award

Congratulations to Steven Snowden who has been selected this year's John C. Lindsay Award winner. The citation will read “For developing the first physically coherent picture of the Local Hot Bubble." This is an incredibly important discovery, solving the origin of the cosmic soft x-ray background after many years of observations and modeling. Steve’s search for answers has relied on multi-wavelength studies spanning the spectrum from the radio to the X-ray as well as on interdisciplinary studies combining astrophysics, heliophysics, and planetary science. He even included results from the Voyager spacecraft as it left the solar system. A recent breakthrough, based on additional information from a sounding rocket experiment, allowed the final pieces of this puzzle to be convincingly put together. The award ceremony and lecture are schedule for Wednesday October 7th as part of the Scientific Colloquium.
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The Astrophysics Science Division conducts a broad program of research in astronomy, astrophysics, and fundamental physics. Individual investigations address issues such as the nature of dark matter and dark energy, which planets outside our solar system may harbor life, and the nature of space, time, and matter at the edges of black holes.

Observing photons, particles, and gravitational waves enables researchers to probe astrophysical objects and processes. Researchers develop theoretical models, design experiments and hardware to test theories, interpret and evaluate the data, archive and disseminate the data, provide expert user support to the scientific community, and publish conclusions drawn from research. The Division also conducts education and public outreach programs about its projects and missions.

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