Kepler Science Team to Receive ASP Maria & Eric Muhlman Award
Dr. William Gutsch, the President of the Board of Directors of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP), notified Kepler Principal Investigator William Borucki that he and the Kepler Science Team are the Society's choice for its 2012 Maria & Eric Muhlman Award. This annual award is given "for recent significant observational results made possible by innovative advances in astronomical instrumentation, software, or observational infrastructure." Dr. William Borucki will accept the award on behalf of the Kepler Science Team at this year's ASP Conference the evening of Tuesday, August 7 (ASP Annual Conference is 2012 Aug 4-8 in Tucson; http://www.astrosociety.org).
Excerpt from the ASP Announcement:
...The Maria and Eric Muhlmann Award for important research results based upon development of groundbreaking instruments and techniques is given to the Kepler Science Team, led by William Borucki and David Koch, which has revolutionized the fields of observational discovery of exoplanets (planets circling other stars than our Sun) and planetary systems as well as the field of asteroseismology. Through continuous monitoring of some 150,000 stars and innovations in precision photometry from space, more than two thousand candidate exoplanets have been detected and subsequently confirmed by ground-based observations. Kepler’s achievements include the detection of "super-Earths” (planets with masses larger than Earth’s but significantly less than those of the Sun’s smaller gas giants), at least one of them residing in the habitable zone of its parent star. Hundreds of Kepler candidates are in multiple-planet extrasolar systems. The same precision photometry that enables the detection of exoplanets also allows the detection of subtle, periodic variations in stellar brightness for use in studying the interior structure of stars and the determination of stellar masses and radii. As Principal Investigator of the Kepler Mission, William Borucki assembled a team of scientists and engineers to design, construct, launch, and utilize the results from this NASA Discovery mission, along with David Koch, Deputy Principal Investigator, since 1992. The legacy of the mission is remarkable because follow-up observations of the candidates can be performed from small as well as large telescopes around the world....
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