Henry Draper Medal

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Samuel Pierpont Langley, who was the first recipient of the medal in 1886 "for numerous investigations of a high order of merit in solar physics, and especially in the domain of radiant energy"[1]

The Henry Draper Medal is awarded every 4 years by the United States National Academy of Sciences "for investigations in astronomical physics".[2][3] Named after Henry Draper, the medal is awarded with a gift of USD $15,000.[4] The medal was established under the Draper Fund by his widow, Anna Draper, in honor of her husband,[5] and was first awarded in 1886 to Samuel Pierpont Langley "for numerous investigations of a high order of merit in solar physics, and especially in the domain of radiant energy".[1] It has since been awarded 45 times. The medal was most recently awarded in 2013 to William J. Borucki "For his founding concept, unflagging advocacy, and visionary leadership during the development of NASA's Kepler mission, which has uncovered myriad planets and solar systems with unforeseen and surprising properties.".[3]

The medal has been awarded to multiple individuals in the same year: in 1977 it was awarded to Arno Allan Penzias and Robert Woodrow Wilson "for their discovery of the cosmic microwave radiation (a remnant of the very early universe), and their leading role in the discovery of interstellar molecules";[6][7] in 1989 to Riccardo Giovanelli and Martha P. Haynes "for the first three-dimensional view of some of the remarkable large-scale filamentary structures of our visible universe";[2] in 1993 to Ralph Asher Alpher and Robert Herman "for their insight and skill in developing a physical model of the evolution of the universe and in predicting the existence of a microwave background radiation years before this radiation was serendipitously discovered"[8] and in 2001 to R. Paul Butler and Geoffrey Marcy "for their pioneering investigations of planets orbiting other stars via high-precision radial velocities".[9]

List of recipients[edit]

Source: National Academy of Sciences

Year Name Rationale Ref
1886 Samuel Pierpont Langley "For numerous investigations of a high order of merit in solar physics, and especially in the domain of radiant energy" [1]
1888 Edward Charles Pickering "For his work in stellar photometry, stellar photography, and stellar spectrum photography" [1]
1890 Henry Augustus Rowland "For his researches on the solar spectrum, as well as for his investigations in astronomical physics" [10]
1893 Hermann Carl Vogel "For spectroscopic observations upon the motion of stars in the line of sight, and other kindred researches" [10]
1899 James Edward Keeler "For his researches in spectroscopic astronomy" [11]
1901 William Huggins "For his investigations in astronomical physics" [12]
1904 George Ellery Hale "For investigations of solar phenomena, studies of stellar spectra, editing the Astrophysical Journal, and the direction of the Yerkes Observatory" [13]
1906 William Wallace Campbell "For his observations and researches relating to the motions of stars in the line of sight, his improvements in the methods of measuring such motions, his discussions of conclusions to be drawn from them, and the organization of work in this field in the southern hemisphere" [14]
1910 Charles Greeley Abbot "For his researches on the infra-red region of the solar spectrum and his accurate measurements, by improved devices, of the solar 'constant' of radiation" [15]
1913 Henri-Alexandre Deslandres "For his researches in solar and stellar physics" [16]
1915 Joel Stebbins "In recognition of his work on application of the selenium cell to stellar photometry" [17]
1916 Albert Abraham Michelson "For his numerous and important contributions to spectroscopy and astronomical physics" [18]
1918 Walter Sydney Adams "For discovering and developing a method of determining the distances of the stars by means of a spectrograph" [19]
1919 Charles Fabry "In recognition of his researches in physics and astronomy, chiefly by means of interferometers" [20]
1920 Alfred Fowler "For his researches in celestial and laboratory spectroscopy, which have led to a valuable increase of our knowledge of sun spots, comets, and the stars—especially of red stars of Secchi's Type III" [21]
1921 Pieter Zeeman "For his discovery of the so-called Zeeman effect and for its application on magneto-optics" [22]
1922 Henry Norris Russell "For his remarkably valuable contributions to knowledge of the order of stellar evolution" [23]
1924 Arthur Stanley Eddington "For his contribution to knowledge of physical conditions existing within the stars, and for his constructive interpretation of the Einstein theory of the relativity as applied to astronomical problems" [24]
1926 Harlow Shapley "For his contributions to astronomical science" [25]
1928 William Hammond Wright "For his researches on nebulae, new stars, and planetary atmospheres" [26]
1931 Annie Jump Cannon "In recognition of her astronomical work, in particular for cataloging the spectra of stars" [27]
1932 Vesto Slipher "For his spectroscopic researches" [28]
1934 John Stanley Plaskett "For his able and consistent labors in stellar radial velocities, and related studies energetically pursued for nearly 30 years" [29]
1936 Kenneth Mees "For his fruitful investigations in photographic process which have given emulsions sensitive to red and infrared of the spectrum and made possible great advance in knowledge of this highly important region of the radiant energy of stars" [30]
1940 Robert W. Wood "In recognition of his contributions to astronomical physics; more especially his researches on the spectra and chemical composition of gaseous nebulae" [31]
1942 Ira Sprague Bowen "In recognition of his contributions to astronomical physics; more especially his pioneer work upon resonance spectra, his use of color filters in astronomical photography, and his development of methods for concentrating to a high degree the light from diffraction gratings in desired orders and regions of the spectrum" [32]
1946 Paul W. Merrill "In recognition of his many important contributions to astronomical physics, in particular those relating to his researches in stellar spectroscopy" [33]
1948 Hans Bethe "In recognition of his contributions to astronomical physics, more particularly his researches on the generation of energy in the sun and stars" [34]
1949 Otto Struve "For his contributions to astronomical physics" [35]
1951 Bernard Lyot "For his contributions to solar physics. The coronograph, invented by Lyot, has made possible continuous observation of the inner corona on all clear days at any suitable location" [36]
1955 Hendrik C. van de Hulst "For his pioneer work on the 21 cm radiation of neutral hydrogen" [37][38]
1957 Horace W. Babcock "For his original and outstanding work leading to the discovery of magnetic fields in stars and also the general magnetic field of the sun" [39]
1961 Martin Schwarzschild "For his book Structure and Evolution of the Stars and two papers, "On the Maximum Mass of Stable Stars" and "Evolution of very Massive Stars," which are outstanding contributions in the field of stellar evolution" [40]
1963 Richard Tousey "For his achievements in solar spectroscopy" [41]
1965 Martin Ryle "For the development of a novel radio-telescopic equipment which made it possible to determine accurately positions of the numerous weak radio sources in the sky" [42]
1968 Bengt Edlén "In recognition of his fruitful researches in astronomical physics, and particularly for his part in the discovery and proof of extremely high temperatures in the sun's corona" [43]
1971 Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar "For his leadership in, and major contributions to, the field of astrophysics" [44]
1974 Lyman Spitzer "For his vision and distinguished achievements in space astronomy and for his many outstanding contributions to the physics of the plasmas on earth and in the interstellar medium" [45]
1977 Arno Allan Penzias and Robert Woodrow Wilson "For their discovery of the cosmic microwave radiation (a remnant of the very early universe), and their leading role in the discovery of interstellar molecules" [6][7]
1980 William Wilson Morgan "For his pioneering researches in spectral classification, leading to a new standard of accuracy in our knowledge of the distances of the stars and the structure of our galaxy" [46]
1985 Joseph Taylor "For his pioneering studies of pulsars, including the fundamental measurements of orbit perturbations by gravitational radiation and other general relativistic effects" [47]
1989 Riccardo Giovanelli and Martha P. Haynes "For the first three-dimensional view of some of the remarkable large-scale filamentary structures of our visible universe" [2]
1993 Ralph Asher Alpher and Robert Herman "For their insight and skill in developing a physical model of the evolution of the universe and in predicting the existence of a microwave background radiation years before this radiation was serendipitously discovered; through this work they were participants in one of the major intellectual achievements of the twentieth century" [8]
1997 Bohdan Paczyński "For his epochal contributions toward understanding gamma-ray bursts, the evolution of binary stars, and especially the gravitational lensing and microlensing of light from distant objects" [48][49]
2001 R. Paul Butler and Geoffrey Marcy "For their pioneering investigations of planets orbiting other stars via high-precision radial velocities. They have proved that many other planetary systems exist in the universe" [9]
2005 Charles L. Bennett "For his contribution to the precise determination of the age, composition, and curvature of the universe through his leadership of NASA's WMAP [Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe] cosmic microwave background mission" [5][50]
2009 Neil Gehrels "For his pioneering contributions to gamma ray astronomy. His leadership of the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory and the Swift Mission has led to new insights into the extreme physics of active galactic nuclei and gamma ray bursts" [4]
2013 William J. Borucki "For his founding concept, unflagging advocacy, and visionary leadership during the development of NASA's Kepler mission, which has uncovered myriad planets and solar systems with unforeseen and surprising properties." [3]
2017 Barry C. Barish and Stanley E. Whitcomb "Honoring Barish and Whitcomb, on behalf of the LIGO collaboration, for their visionary and pivotal leadership roles, scientific guidance, and novel instrument design during the development of LIGO that were crucial for LIGO's discovery of gravitational waves from colliding black holes, thus directly validating Einstein's 100-year-old prediction of gravitational waves and ushering a new field of gravitational wave astronomy." [3][51]

References[edit]

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