Anjum Mukadam, an astronomer of Indian origin, will be awarded the Robert J Trumpler Award for an outstanding Ph D thesis, at the 2008 awards for excellence in astronomy research and education on June 3 in St. Louis, Missouri, United States.
Dr Mukkadam, who is a Hubble post-doctoral fellow at the University of Washington at Seattle, has been chosen to receive the award for designing and building Argos, a fast, CCD-based, time-series photometer to probe stars, including white dwarfs.
She designed Argos using the technique of 'asteroseismology', which is the study of the internal structure of stars through the interpretation of their periods of pulsation.
Her work doubled the number of known pulsating white dwarfs, produced more than a dozen scientific papers, and created in Argos an instrument that is also useful for the detection of extrasolar planets as they transit their parent star.
The awards, eight in number, were announced by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific for excellence in astronomy research and education.
"This year's award winners span a remarkable breadth of achievement in research, education, popularisation, and amateur accomplishment," said James Manning, ASP executive director.
"We're very proud to recognise excellence in all of these areas of endeavour, and hope that the example of these remarkable individuals will inspire others to reach for the stars," he added.Apart from the eight awards, a separate honour - the 2008 Catherine Wolfe Bruce Gold Medal - which is the award for lifetime achievement in astronomy, will be given to Sidney van den Bergh, Researcher Emeritus, Dominion Astrophysical Observatory, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.