To foster and recognize excellence in astronomy, the AAS presents honors, awards, and prizes for outstanding contributions to astronomical research, instrumentation, writing, and service.

2020 Prize & Award Winners

Caroline Morley

For her innovative work on modeling the atmospheres of exoplanets and brown dwarfs. She has advanced our understanding of clouds and photochemical hazes and the role they play in observations of transmission and emission spectra. Her work has paved the way for the robust detection of water and other molecules in exoplanet atmospheres.

Caroline Morley

For her innovative work on modeling the atmospheres of exoplanets and brown dwarfs. She has advanced our understanding of clouds and photochemical hazes and the role they play in observations of transmission and emission spectra. Her work has paved the way for the robust detection of water and other molecules in exoplanet atmospheres.

Annie Jump Cannon Award in Astronomy

Christopher Kochanek

shared w/Krzysztof Stanek

 

For their innovative contributions to time-domain astronomy and, in particular, their leadership in the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN).

 

Christopher Kochanek

shared w/Krzysztof Stanek

 

For their innovative contributions to time-domain astronomy and, in particular, their leadership in the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN).

 

Beatrice M. Tinsley Prize

Christopher Kochanek

For combining observations and theory to make outstanding contributions to astrophysics in topics ranging from the use of gravitational lenses for studies of dark matter halos and quasar accretion disks, to the lives and deaths of massive stars and the evolution of stellar populations in galaxies and quasars. He has also contributed to a worldwide network of telescopes that monitors transients over the entire sky, opening new avenues for astronomical discovery.

Christopher Kochanek

For combining observations and theory to make outstanding contributions to astrophysics in topics ranging from the use of gravitational lenses for studies of dark matter halos and quasar accretion disks, to the lives and deaths of massive stars and the evolution of stellar populations in galaxies and quasars. He has also contributed to a worldwide network of telescopes that monitors transients over the entire sky, opening new avenues for astronomical discovery.

Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics

Deborah Byrd

For her contributions to the Texas Star Party, StarDate, and Earth & Sky, which epitomize her advocacy for science and her lifetime of service in educating and inspiring the public with the wonders and beauty of astronomy.

Deborah Byrd

For her contributions to the Texas Star Party, StarDate, and Earth & Sky, which epitomize her advocacy for science and her lifetime of service in educating and inspiring the public with the wonders and beauty of astronomy.

Education Prize

Dennis Conti

For his outstanding observational, computational, and educational contributions to exoplanet studies. As a professional computer scientist and amateur astronomer, he leads a time-series photometry subgroup for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) Follow-up Observing Program, and his efforts in that capacity have vastly improved the efficiency and effectiveness of the entire team.

Dennis Conti

For his outstanding observational, computational, and educational contributions to exoplanet studies. As a professional computer scientist and amateur astronomer, he leads a time-series photometry subgroup for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) Follow-up Observing Program, and his efforts in that capacity have vastly improved the efficiency and effectiveness of the entire team.

Chambliss Amateur Achievement Award

Emily Levesque

For her breakthrough studies of massive stars and their explosive end states. Through observations of the host galaxy environments of long-duration gamma-ray bursts she has provided new insights into the stellar populations that create these extremely energetic events. She led the development of a new temperature scale for red supergiants that better matches stellar evolution theory and has been widely adopted. She has also led important studies of circumstellar ejecta and the binary fraction of massive stars.

Emily Levesque

For her breakthrough studies of massive stars and their explosive end states. Through observations of the host galaxy environments of long-duration gamma-ray bursts she has provided new insights into the stellar populations that create these extremely energetic events. She led the development of a new temperature scale for red supergiants that better matches stellar evolution theory and has been widely adopted. She has also led important studies of circumstellar ejecta and the binary fraction of massive stars.

Newton Lacy Pierce Prize

Krzysztof Stanek

shared w/Christopher Kochanek

 

For their innovative contributions to time-domain astronomy and, in particular, their leadership in the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN).

 

Krzysztof Stanek

shared w/Christopher Kochanek

 

For their innovative contributions to time-domain astronomy and, in particular, their leadership in the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN).

 

Beatrice M. Tinsley Prize

Lisa Kaltenegger

For being at the forefront of one of the most exciting areas of research in astrophysics today: the search for signs of life on planets orbiting stars other than the Sun. She is a world leader in modeling the atmospheres of rocky planets and super-Earths in the habitable zones of their stars. Her research will enable astronomers using the next generation of large ground- and space-based telescopes to detect the atmospheric fingerprints of habitable worlds and to identify biological signatures if those planets actually harbor living organisms.

Lisa Kaltenegger

For being at the forefront of one of the most exciting areas of research in astrophysics today: the search for signs of life on planets orbiting stars other than the Sun. She is a world leader in modeling the atmospheres of rocky planets and super-Earths in the habitable zones of their stars. Her research will enable astronomers using the next generation of large ground- and space-based telescopes to detect the atmospheric fingerprints of habitable worlds and to identify biological signatures if those planets actually harbor living organisms.

Fred Kavli Plenary Lecture

Oswald “Ossy” Siegmund

For his significant and innovative contributions to the technology of photon counting detectors and the impact these instruments have had on advancing our understanding of the universe. Siegmund’s role in developing and continually improving microchannel plate (MCP) detectors has been transformative to a broad range of astrophysical studies.

Oswald “Ossy” Siegmund

For his significant and innovative contributions to the technology of photon counting detectors and the impact these instruments have had on advancing our understanding of the universe. Siegmund’s role in developing and continually improving microchannel plate (MCP) detectors has been transformative to a broad range of astrophysical studies.

Joseph Weber Award for Astronomical Instrumentation

Roc Cutri

For his long-standing and selfless service and support for ground- and space-based infrared astronomy, including his leadership, development, and management of public data products such as those from the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) and Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), which have enabled many important discoveries across all fields of astronomy.

Roc Cutri

For his long-standing and selfless service and support for ground- and space-based infrared astronomy, including his leadership, development, and management of public data products such as those from the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) and Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), which have enabled many important discoveries across all fields of astronomy.

George Van Biesbroeck Prize

Scott Tremaine

For his lifelong contributions to our understanding of the dynamics of natural cosmic systems on scales ranging from comets to clusters of galaxies, and for his mentoring of junior colleagues and leadership of major astronomical research institutions.

Scott Tremaine

For his lifelong contributions to our understanding of the dynamics of natural cosmic systems on scales ranging from comets to clusters of galaxies, and for his mentoring of junior colleagues and leadership of major astronomical research institutions.

Henry Norris Russell Lectureship

Smadar Naoz

For her many contributions to theoretical astrophysics, especially her influential and creative studies in cosmology and dynamics. She has provided important insights into the behavior of radiation and matter after cosmological recombination and the formation of the first stars, and she has devised compelling explanations of the unexpected orbital properties of hot Jupiters.

Smadar Naoz

For her many contributions to theoretical astrophysics, especially her influential and creative studies in cosmology and dynamics. She has provided important insights into the behavior of radiation and matter after cosmological recombination and the formation of the first stars, and she has devised compelling explanations of the unexpected orbital properties of hot Jupiters.

Helen B. Warner Prize for Astronomy

Thomas Burbine

For his undergraduate textbook Asteroids: Astronomical and Geological Bodies (Cambridge University Press, 2017), a comprehensive interdisciplinary introduction to minor planets, their meteorite fragments, and their comet and trans-Neptunian object cousins. Burbine offers clear explanations, well-chosen photographs and diagrams, homework problems with worked-out examples, and extensive references for deeper study of every topic he covers.

Thomas Burbine

For his undergraduate textbook Asteroids: Astronomical and Geological Bodies (Cambridge University Press, 2017), a comprehensive interdisciplinary introduction to minor planets, their meteorite fragments, and their comet and trans-Neptunian object cousins. Burbine offers clear explanations, well-chosen photographs and diagrams, homework problems with worked-out examples, and extensive references for deeper study of every topic he covers.

Chambliss Astronomical Writing Award