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2006 ASP Award Recipients Press Release

Astronomical Society of the Pacific Announces Award Winners for 2006 in Astronomy Research and Education

The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) announced today it has named the seven winners of its 2006 awards for excellence in astronomy research and education.

The ASP’s most prestigious award, the Catherine Wolfe Bruce Gold Medal for lifetime achievement in astronomy has been awarded to Frank J. Low, Regents Professor Emeritus, University of Arizona.

One of the pioneers of modern infrared astronomy, Dr. Low invented the Gallium-doped germanium bolometer, the first really sensitive infrared detector for the thermal infrared. In the 1970s he was one of the first astronomers to use aircraft to carry open-port telescopes. He was also instrumental at that time in assembling the team that proposed and built the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS), a landmark infrared space telescope that provided the first all-sky census of mid and far-infrared sources. In addition, he made many pioneering observations of the planets and galactic sources, showing that molecular clouds were very luminous infrared sources and that galactic nuclei could emit enormous amounts of infrared radiation.

Awarded in most years since 1898, the Bruce Gold Medal is widely recognized as one of astronomy’s most prestigious awards. Previous winners include such influential astronomers as Walter Baade, Edwin Hubble, George Ellery Hale, and Fred Hoyle.

More information on Bruce Medal winner Frank Low may be found at

In addition to the Bruce medal, the ASP has announced the following 2006 awards:

The Maria & Eric Muhlmann Award, for the development of innovative research instruments and techniques, to Michael Skrutskie, University of Virginia, and the 2MASS team.

The Robert J. Trumpler Award for outstanding recent PhD thesis, to Steven Furlanetto, degree awarded by Harvard University.

The Thomas J. Brennan Award, for excellence in the teaching of astronomy in grades 9-12, to Thomas Morin, Belmont HS, Belmont, NH.

The Klumpke-Roberts Award, for contributing to the public understanding of astronomy, to Jeffrey Rosendhal, NASA (retired), Reston, VA.

The Las Cumbres Amateur Outreach Award, for outstanding public outreach to K-12 students and the public by an amateur astronomer, to Asghar Kabiri, Sa'adat-shahr, Iran.

The Amateur Achievement Award, for significant observational or technological contributions by an amateur astronomer, to Kamil Hornoch, Czech Republic.

The awards will be presented at the ASP’s 2006 annual meeting and conference in Baltimore, MD, on September 17.

Founded in 1889 in San Francisco, the ASP is one of the nation’s leading organizations devoted to improving people’s understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of astronomy and space. Serving research astronomers, educators of all descriptions, and amateur astronomers, the ASP publishes both scholarly and educational materials, conducts professional development programs for formal and informal educators, and holds conferences, symposia, and workshops for astronomers and educators who specialize in astronomy education and outreach. The ASP’s education programs are funded by its own members, corporations, private foundations, NASA, and the National Science Foundation.