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Tim Kallman and Javier Garcia (662) have been awarded the 2024’s AAD HEAD Innovation Prize! They share the award with Thomas Dauser “for the development of novel models to describe emission in the strong gravity regime from accreting compact objects.”
Ken Carpenter (667) and his team have been awarded a prestigious and highly competitive NIAC grant to perform a study for an optical-UV interferometry on the Moon, "A Lunar Long-Baseline Optical Imaging Interferometer: Artemis-enabled Stellar Imager (AeSI)".
2025 Benjamin Franklin Birthday Celebration
John Mather has been selected as the Honoree for the 2025 Benjamin Franklin Birthday Celebration: Every year the Franklin Birthday Committee selects a theme linked with Benjamin Franklin and honors a person who has done extraordinary work in this field. Recent honorees include Dr. Syliva Earle (Health of the Oceans), Wendell Berry (The Future of Food), and this year Frank Gehry (Craftsmanship).
NASA has chosen Dr. Jane Rigby as the new senior project scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope mission. Rigby is an astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, in Greenbelt, Maryland, and has worked on the mission for many years. Rigby was one of the three commissioning scientists for Webb. She also led the characterization of Webb’s science performance. She is an active researcher studying how galaxies form stars, and leads one of Webb's Early Release Science programs. She steps in after John Mather, who held the position for almost 28 years since 1995. Mather is moving on to senior project scientist emeritus for Webb at NASA.
2023 Poster Party Blowout winners announced
We had over 175 posters from all four science divisions, as well as a few select entries from the Engineering and Technology Directorate. As one of the few yearly events that brings together the whole Sciences and Exploration Directorate, the large turnout (including GSFC and HQ VIPs) and collaborative communication made the event a great success! While there were so many fantastic contributions, awards were given for outstanding posters in 5 categories:
- Best Poster Title:
Francesco Civilini (690.1) - How to Train your Lander: Automatic moonquake detection using machine learning
- Best Graphic Design:
Douglas Rowland (675) - The Geospace Dynamics Constellation mission: NASA's next Living With a Star mission to explore the upper atmosphere
- Best Science as Food:
Maryam Rahmani (665) - Cosmic Microwave Background/Line Intensity Mapping cake and jell-o
- Best Science Story:
Shipra Sinha (670) - The Mystery of Magnetospheric Substorms
- Piers Sellers Interdisciplinary Award:
Erin Delaria (614) - The NASA Carbon Airborne Flux Experiment (CARAFE): Observations of Greenhouse Gas Exchange in the Florida Everglades
Jonathan Gardner of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, was selected as a 2023 Fellow of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) for extraordinary achievement and service. He is being recognized for exceptional community service and scientific leadership of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope science teams, leading to Webb’s flight hardware exceeding all of its requirements.
Three Sciences and Exploration Directorate scientists have been named 2022 fellows by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in recognition of their scientifically and socially distinguished achievements in the scientific enterprise. Rita Sambruna (600) was recognized in Astronomy, Jennifer Wiseman (660) was recognized in Physics, and Dorothy Peteet (611) was recognized in Earth Science. Congratulations to all!
Dr. Jonathan Gardner Selected as the Winner of the 2022 John C. Lindsay Memorial Award for Space Science.
Dr. Gardner is being recognized for his exceptional scientific leadership of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Science Teams. He is the Deputy Senior Project Scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope, a position he has held since 2002 at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.
Dr. Jane Rigby from the Astrophysics Science Division and Project Scientist for Operations for the James Webb Space Telescope, will receive the American Astronomical Society’s (AAS) Fred Kavli Plenary Lectureship award at the 241st AAS meeting in Seattle, Washington, on Jan. 9, 2023.
With support from the Kavli Foundation, the vice presidents of the AAS name a special invited lecturer to kick off each semiannual AAS meeting with a presentation on recent research of great importance.
2022 Robert H. Goddard Award Winners
Congratulations to all the 660 winners of the Robert H. Goddard awards:
Rita M Sambruna (660) - Diversity & Inclusion and EEO Team
LISA Telescope Team (663) - Engineering
Jonathan P Gardner (665) - Leadership
Kimberly A Weaver (662) - Leadership
Eric R Switzer (665) - Mentoring
Sibasish Laha (661) - Science
Maurice A Leutenegger (662) - Science
Tonia Moira Venters (661) - Science
Ellie Jeffries (660) - Secretarial & Clerical
Travis James Coffroad (662) - Technician
Astronomy Picture of the Day has been honored by the International Astronomical Union in the organization's inaugural round of outreach prizes. The website, created and run by Goddard’s Jerry Bonnell and Robert Nemiroff at Michigan Technological University, has served up daily astronomical images for 27 years, is available in 20 languages, and is seen by millions throughout the world. The award will be presented at the IAU General Assembly in Busan, South Korea, in August.
Out to Innovate's LGBTQ+ Scientist of the Year Award recognizes an individual who has made outstanding contributions to their field through design, research, or management. This year’s award winner is Dr. Jane Rigby, an astrophysicist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the Operations Project Scientist for NASA’s JWST. In addition to her work with JWST, Rigby and her team at NASA, with international collaborators, have led many successful research campaigns, collecting data from the Keck and Magellan Observatories and the Hubble Space Telescope. She has published over 100 peer-reviewed publications. She also has given countless professional and public presentations on her research and on JWST and served on the 2020 Decadal Survey of Astronomy and Astrophysics for the National Academies. Rigby has been recognized for her research, mentorship, and diversity-related work with awards such as the John C. Lindsay Memorial Award for Space Science.
The top prize in high-energy astrophysics has been awarded to the Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) team for the instrument and the revelations it is producing about the physics of neutron stars and their environments. The High Energy Astrophysics Division (HEAD) of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) awards the Rossi Prize in recognition of significant contributions as well as recent and original work in high-energy astrophysics.
2021 Agency Honor Awards
NASA announced its 2021 Agency Honor Awards this week. Included are several ASD scientists. Caroline Kilbourne (662) and Joan Centrella (660/retired) have won the Distinguished Service Medal, the Agency’s highest award. Mike Corcoran (662/CUA) has won the Exceptional Public Service Medal. Tom Barclay (667/UMBC) was awarded the Early Career Achievement Medal. Knicole Colon (667), Floyd Stecker (663), Eliahu Dwek (665/retired), and Eleonora Troja (661/UMCP) have won the Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal. The XRISM Resolve Dewar Leak Investigation Team won a Group Achievement Award. Congratulations to all!
Congratulations to Richard Mushotzky, Awarded the 2022 Henry Norris Russell Lectureship
The 2022 Henry Norris Russell Lectureship, celebrating a career of eminence in astronomical research, goes to Richard Mushotzky (University of Maryland) for a lifetime of innovative X-ray and multiwavelength research, including foundational studies of the properties of active galactic nuclei and the composition and structures of hot gas in clusters of galaxies. His highly productive career also included co-invention of the X-ray calorimeter, a device used to detect and measure the energy of X-ray photons, revealing detailed information about energetic astrophysical phenomena in our universe.
Congratulations to Keith Arnaud, Awarded the 2022 HEAD Innovation Prize
The HEAD Innovation Prize recognizes the development of foundational, innovative and/or revolutionary instrumentation or software tools that have led to groundbreaking results in high-energy astrophysics. The 2022 Innovation Prize has been awarded to Dr. Keith Arnaud (GSFC and the University of Maryland) “for continuous innovation in developing and maintaining XSPEC, the X-ray spectral fitting package, which has become the world standard for analysis of spectra from X-ray and Gamma-ray missions.”
Congratulations to Brad Cenko, Awarded the 2022 HEAD Mid-Career Prize
The 2022 HEAD Mid-Career Prize was awarded to Dr. Brad Cenko "for outstanding leadership, discovery and characterization of high-energy transient phenomena from tidal disruption events, counterparts to gravitational wave mergers, and gamma ray bursts."
Dr. Knicole Colón Selected as TESS Project Scientist
Dr. Knicole Colón has been selected as the next Project Scientist for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), effective Monday 2/28/2022. As an exoplanet scientist in Goddard’s Laboratory for Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics since 2017, with broad experience leading exoplanet research programs and supporting NASA missions from SmallSats through flagships, Colón is an outstanding choice to ensure that the TESS mission continues to meet its goals. She is an expert in exoplanet research and photometry from space and ground-based observatories. Her experience will have positive impacts felt far beyond the project, as TESS data continue to be collected, archived, and shared with the community in innovative ways, to maximize the broadest community participation and science legacy of TESS.
Congratulations to the Robert H. Goddard Award Winners from ASD
Congratulations to ASD staff who were announced this past week as winners of the Robert H. Goddard awards. Individual winners include Knicole Colón for mentoring and Barbara Mattson for outreach. Keith Gendreau was selected for the Award of Merit. The JWST NIRSpec IRS2 Algorithm Team was named a winner of the RHG science award.
Gravitational Astrophysics Lab members Scott Noble, Bernard Kelly, and Jeremy Schnittman are featured in the latest Cutting Edge magazine, in an article titled "Binary Black Hole Simulations Provide Blueprint for Future Observations." It begins on page 10.
The Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center is hiring soon!
Rita Sambruna is cited “For exceptional contributions to the fundamental understanding of relativistic jets from supermassive black holes, for being an ally to, and role model for, underrepresented groups in the field; and for leadership and service.” Richard Mushotzky, who retired from GSFC and is now a professor at the University of Maryland, is cited “For his leadership in X-ray and multiwavelength imaging, timing, and spectroscopy focusing on the physics of black hole accretion, evolution of the elements, and cosmology.”
In "Our World as an Exoplanet," Padi Boyd, Emily Wilson, and Alan Smale are featured as they discuss their proposal to use a lunar-surface experiment suite called EarthShine to look at Earth as an exoplanet proxy - a representative of a habitable and inhabited planet we might find orbiting another star.
In today's New York Times: an article about the sextuple star system discovered in TESS data by Brian Powell, with quotes from Brian (and a HEASARC mention). The preprint is available here: https://arxiv.org/pdf/2101.03433.pdf.
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