2 May 2022

DDA's 2022 Awards for Achievements in Dynamical Astronomy

Susanna Kohler

Susanna Kohler American Astronomical Society (AAS)

The AAS Division on Dynamical Astronomy (DDA) has announced the recipients of its major awards for 2022. Harold Levison (Southwest Research Institute) is being honored with the Dirk Brouwer Career Award for outstanding contributions to the field, and Kathryn Volk (University of Arizona) will receive the Vera Rubin Early Career Prize.

Harold LevisonDr. Levison is being recognized for his longstanding, important work on the dynamical evolution of small bodies in the solar system. Early in his career, he developed the popular Swift planetary integrator, a pioneering numerical tool that permits users to accurately and efficiently simulate the evolution of a planetary system. He is also a key contributor to the Nice model, a model of early dynamical evolution of the solar system. In an unusual move for a theorist, Dr. Levison led the successful proposal of a spacecraft mission to test the model’s predictions: he is Principal Investigator for the Lucy mission, currently en route to the Trojan asteroids of Jupiter. [Complete citation on DDA website]

Kathryn VolkDr. Volk's award celebrates her work on both the dynamics of small bodies beyond Neptune, and the long-term dynamics and stability of tightly packed exoplanetary systems. Dr. Volk has made fundamental contributions both to the observational characterization of small-body populations beyond Neptune through her core role in the Outer Solar System Origins Survey, as well as to the theoretical picture of early solar system evolution through extensive numerical investigations. In exoplanetary science, her proposal that most planetary systems begin in compact configurations, which continually destabilize and rearrange throughout their lifetimes, has been highly influential, and she has made fundamental contributions to our understanding of the long-term dynamical stability of exoplanetary systems. [Complete citation on DDA website]

Both Levison and Volk will be invited to give lectures at the 54th annual DDA meeting, to be held in the spring of 2023.