Edgar Wilson Award

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The Edgar Wilson Award is an annual international award established in 1998 consisting of a monetary award and a plaque allocated annually to amateur comet discoverers. It is administered by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) through the IAU's Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams (CBAT).[1]


Edgar Wilson was an American businessman who lived in Lexington, Kentucky.[1] After he died in 1976, the Edgar Wilson Charitable Trust Fund was set up and awards were allocated in accordance with the terms of his bequest.[2]


Each year the award is divided between amateur astronomers who during that year, using amateur equipment, discover one or more new comets which are then officially named after them. The annual total award is of the order of US$20,000 but fluctuates from year to year. In any year when there are no eligible discoverers, CBAT makes the award to the amateur astronomer or astronomers it considers "have made the greatest contribution toward promoting an interest in the study of comets".[2]


A list of recipients current to 2010 can be found on the IAU Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams website.[3] For later awards see the list at the British Astronomical Association website [4]


  1. ^ a b J. Kelly Beatty (23 August 2009). "The Edgar Wilson Award". SkyandTelescope.com. Retrieved 21 September 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "The Edgar Wilson Award". IAU Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams. 24 September 2007. Archived from the original on 2010-10-24. Retrieved 21 September 2012. 
  3. ^ "The Edgar Wilson Award Recipients". IAU Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams. Retrieved 23 September 2012. 
  4. ^ "British Astronomical Association Comet Section". British Astronomical Association. Retrieved 31 May 2016.