31 May 2023

Solar Physics Division Names Recipients of 2023 Popular Media Awards

This announcement has been adapted from an AAS Solar Physics Division announcement.

SPD 50th Anniversary Logo

The AAS Solar Physics Division (SPD) has announced the winners of its 2023 Popular Media Awards: Matt Ribel, Dianna Cowern, and Neha Krishnakumar. SPD's Popular Media Awards are given to authors of popular or semipopular articles on the Sun or the effects of the Sun on Earth's environment. Each of the awards includes a $500 honorarium and a certificate.

Matt Ribel, a freelance science writer, receives the award for his article "Here Comes the Sun—to End Civilization," published in the July/August 2022 issue of Wired magazine. In this article, Ribel describes how coronal mass ejections from the Sun carry the power to upend civilizations.

Dianna Cowern, a YouTube creator better known as the Physics Girl, is recognized for her video "It missed us by 9 days," published on her YouTube channel on 18 April 2022. In the video, she discusses solar superstorms and aurora science in Alaska.

Neha Krishnakumar, an undergraduate student at the University of California, Los Angeles, receives the student SPD Popular Media Award for her guest post "Solar Storms? Oh Whale, That’s a Problem!," published on Astrobites on 29 July 2022. In her post, she describes research indicating that magnetic activity from solar storms can lead to whale strandings, in which migrating whales lose their sense of direction and wash up on beaches.

Congratulations to all three winners of SPD's 2023 Popular Media Awards!

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