- Arts - Jul 29 COLOUR: The art and science of illuminated manuscripts
- Physics - Jul 29 Knots in chaotic waves
- Physics - Jul 28 Engineering faculty members appear in the 2016 List of Most Cited Researchers in Materials Science and Engineering
- Astronomy - Jul 28 Stars intense radiation beams whip neighbouring red dwarf
- Physics - Jul 28 An hour to stop the rot
- Medicine - Jul 28 Move it or lose it
- Medicine - Jul 27 An hour of moderate exercise a day enough to counter health risks from prolonged sitting
- Physics - Jul 27 McGill in global top 50 of Nature Index Rising Stars
- Physics - Jul 27 Yale leads research collaboration to explore origins of the universe
- Medicine - Jul 26 Regardless of age, health conditions, many seniors not retired from sex
- Physics - Jul 26 A new Type of Quantum Bit
- Agronomy - Jul 26 Big dreams lead to atomic posting
- Medicine - Jul 26 If smoker has COPD, quitting might not help lung function
- Physics - Jul 25 Diagnosing gout could become easier, more cost- effective with new portable device
- Physics - Jul 25 Chemical etching method helps transistors stand tall
- Physics - Jul 25 Building a Moebius strip of good vibrations
Images of extrasolar planets win award for most outstanding papers in Science
Four of the authors awarded the AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize for outstanding papers in the journal Science. From left to right, Professors Paul Kalas, Eugene Chiang and James Graham and doctoral candidate Edwin Kite. (Barbara Hoversten/UC Berkeley)
BERKELEY — A picture is worth a thousand words, or so University of California, Berkeley, astronomer Paul Kalas found out when he published a Hubble Space Telescope image of a Jupiter-sized planet orbiting the star Fomalhaut.
Since it appeared in the journal Science in November 2008, "the image of Fomalhaut, its visually striking belt of comet dust and its planet has become an iconic image of a planetary system," said Kalas, an adjunct associate professor of astronomy at UC Berkeley.
Now, that image and the paper in which it was published has won Kalas and his team of planetary paparazzi the 2009 Newcomb Cleveland Prize of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for the most outstanding paper published in Science between June 1, 2008, and May 31, 2009. Founded in 1848, the AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and the publisher of Science.
Fomalhaut is a bright star 25 light years from Earth. This image, with light from the central star blocked, shows a vast belt of comet dust that is shaped by the gravitational influence of the exoplanet Fomalhaut b. (Paul Kalas/NASA/ESA)
Kalas and colleagues from UC Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena (JPL) and the Goddard Space Flight Center will share the bronze medal and $25,000 purse with a team led by Christian Marois, a former UC Berkeley post-doctoral fellow now at the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. That team simultaneously published images of three planets orbiting the star HR 8799. Both papers appeared online Nov. 13, 2008.
"This is the first time this award has been given in the field of astronomy since 1999," Kalas said. "Considering the number of papers that Science publishes weekly on many vital scientific topics, it’s a tremendous honor to be selected this year."
"These two papers are landmark discoveries, as they report the first definitive, direct imaging of exoplanets: the planets that orbit distant stars,” said Bruce Alberts, Science editor-in-chief. "They result from remarkable technical advances in both imaging and data analysis, which make it possible to separate a planet from its host star. The results are likely to change our view of how planets originate. The ultimate goal is the direct imaging of Earth-like planets, so as to search for biosignature gases. This task will be very much harder, since such planets will not only be considerably smaller and dimmer, but also much closer to a sun-like star. Nevertheless, with this first giant step, it does not appear impossible."
The prize, awarded annually since 1923, is the oldest prize given by the AAAS and is now supported by Affymetrix, a company based in Santa Clara, Calif., that makes microarrays and other gene-analysis tools based on semiconductor technology. It will be presented to the astronomers on Saturday, Feb. 20, at 5 p.m. PST at a ceremony during the association’s annual meeting in San Diego, Calif.
UC Berkeley astronomer Paul Kalas speaks at a NASA press conference in November 2008, where he and his team announced the discovery of the planet Fomalhaut b using the Hubble Space Telescope. (NASA photo)
Marois and his team employed adaptive optics on the Keck and Gemini North telescopes on Mauna Kea in Hawaii to obtain images of the three Jupiter-sized planets orbiting the star HR 8799, located about 128 light years from Earth.
Kalas and his team used the Hubble Space Telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys to image the dust belt around Fomalhaut, which is 25 light years from Earth. The optical images, obtained in 2004 and 2006, show a belt of dust and debris surrounding the star and a planet that orbits the star every 872 years and sculpts the inner edge of the belt.
Now, following last year’s refurbishing of the Hubble Space Telescope and repair of the Advanced Camera for Surveys, Kalas and his team plan to continue their studies of the dust disk surrounding Fomalhaut.
Authors of the paper, "Optical Images of an Exosolar Planet 25 Light-Years from Earth," include James R. Graham and Eugene Chiang, UC Berkeley professors of astronomy; Edwin S. Kite, a UC Berkeley graduate student; Michael P. Fitzgerald from the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Science at LLNL in California; Mark Clampin of the Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics Laboratory at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.; Karl Stapelfeldt and John Krist of JPL at the California Institute of Technology; and Marois.
Both the Kalas paper and the Marois paper , "Direct Imaging of Multiple Planets Orbiting the Star HR 8799,” can be found online. (Please note that these articles are freely accessible, but initial registration may be required.)
Last job offers
- Physics/Materials Science - 28.7
Stellvertreter/in des Ressortleiters Sicherheitsanalysen
- Physics/Materials Science - 20.7
Projektleiter/in Inventar & Logistik
- Microtechnics - 15.7
- Mathematics - 13.7
Wissenschaftliche/r Mitarbeiter/in 80-100%
- Life Sciences - 8.7
Faculty Position in Physics of Biological Systems
- Physics/Materials Science - 28.6
Material Scientist - Post-Doctoral position for 2 years
- Medicine/Pharmacology - 19.7
Professor of Medical Physics (1.0 fte)
- Physics/Materials Science - 19.7
Assistant Professor of Condensed Matter Theory
- Life Sciences - 16.8
Professur für Biophysik
- Physics/Materials Science - 30.6
Full Professorship (W2) for ’Theoretical Particle Physics - Lattice Field Theory’ from the...
- Physics/Materials Science - 28.6
/W3-Professur für Wellenleiteroptik mit einem Schwerpunkt in der Faseroptik
- Chemistry - 11.7
Lecturer (Assistant Professor)/Senior Lecturer / Reader (Associate Professor) in Physical Chemistry
- Physics/Materials Science - 8.7
Professor of Composites Engineering & Head of EC&S Centre
- Physics/Materials Science - 8.7
Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology at CUMC
- Physics/Materials Science - 24.6
Professor and Department Head