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Henry Draper Medal

Henry Draper Medal

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The Henry Draper Medal is awarded by the United States National Academy of Sciences
United States National Academy of Sciences
The National Academy of Sciences is a corporation in the United States whose members serve pro bono as "advisers to the nation on science, engineering, and medicine." As a national academy, new members of the organization are elected annually by current members, based on their distinguished and...

 "for investigations in astronomical physics
Astrophysics
Astrophysics is the branch of astronomy that deals with the physics of the universe, including the physical properties of celestial objects, as well as their interactions and behavior...

". Named after Henry Draper
Henry Draper
Henry Draper was an American doctor and amateur astronomer. He is best known today as a pioneer of astrophotography.-Life and work:...

, the medal is awarded with a gift of USD $15,000. The medal was established under the Draper Fund by his widow, Anna Draper, in honor of her husband, and was first awarded in 1886 to Samuel Pierpont Langley
Samuel Pierpont Langley
Samuel Pierpont Langley was an American astronomer, physicist, inventor of the bolometer and pioneer of aviation...

 "for numerous investigations of a high order of merit in solar physics, and especially in the domain of radiant energy". It has since been awarded 45 times. The medal was most recently awarded in 2009 to Neil Gehrels
Neil Gehrels
Neil Gehrels is an astrophysicist specializing in the field of Gamma-ray astronomy. He graduated in 1976 with Bachelor's degrees in music and physics from the University of Arizona. He received his Ph.D. in physics in 1982 from the California Institute of Technology. He is married to Ellen...

 "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".

The medal has been awarded to multiple individuals in the same year: in 1977 it was awarded to Arno Allan Penzias
Arno Allan Penzias
Arno Allan Penzias is an American physicist and Nobel laureate in physics.-Early life and education:Penzias was born in Munich, Germany. At age six he was among the Jewish children evacuated to Britain as part of the Kindertransport rescue operation...

 and Robert Woodrow Wilson
Robert Woodrow Wilson
For the American President, see Woodrow Wilson.Robert Woodrow Wilson is an American astronomer, 1978 Nobel laureate in physics, who with Arno Allan Penzias discovered in 1964 the cosmic microwave background radiation...

 "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"; in 1989 to Riccardo Giovanelli
Riccardo Giovanelli
Riccardo Giovanelli is an Italian born PhD Astronomer. He works as a Professor in Astronomy at Cornell University.In 1989 Giovanelli and Martha Haynes were awarded the Henry Draper Medal from the National Academy of Sciences for their work with on mapping the local universe.He is a principal...

 and Martha P. Haynes
Martha P. Haynes
Martha Patricia Haynes is an American astronomer who specializes in radio astronomy and radar astronomy. She is a professor at Cornell University -Career:...

 "for the first three-dimensional view of some of the remarkable large-scale filamentary structures of our visible universe"; in 1993 to Ralph Asher Alpher
Ralph Asher Alpher
Ralph Asher Alpher was an American cosmologist.- Childhood and education :Alpher was the son of a Russian Jewish immigrant, Samuel Alpher, from Vitebsk, Russia. His mother, Rose, died of stomach cancer in 1938 and his father later remarried...

 and Robert Herman
Robert Herman
Robert Herman was a United States scientist, best known for his work with Ralph Alpher in 1948-50, on estimating the temperature of cosmic microwave background radiation from the Big Bang explosion....

 "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" and in 2001 to R. Paul Butler
R. Paul Butler
R. Paul Butler is an astronomer who searches for extrasolar planets.He received a BA and an MS from San Francisco State University, completing a Master's thesis with Geoffrey Marcy, and then completed his doctoral studies at the University of Maryland, College Park in 1993...

 and Geoffrey Marcy
Geoffrey Marcy
Geoffrey W. Marcy is an American astronomer, who is currently Professor of Astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley, famous for discovering more extrasolar planets than anyone else, 70 out of the first 100 to be discovered, along with R...

"for their pioneering investigations of planets orbiting other stars via high-precision radial velocities".

List of recipients

Year Name Rationale Ref
1886 "For numerous investigations of a high order of merit in solar physics, and especially in the domain of radiant energy"
1888 "For his work in stellar photometry, stellar photography, and stellar spectrum photography"
1890 "For his researches on the solar spectrum, as well as for his investigations in astronomical physics"
1893 "For spectroscopic observations upon the motion of stars in the line of sight, and other kindred researches"
1899 "For his researches in spectroscopic astronomy"
1901 "For his investigations in astronomical physics"
1904 "For investigations of solar phenomena, studies of stellar spectra, editing the Astrophysical Journal, and the direction of the Yerkes Observatory"
1906 "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"
1910 "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"
1913 "For his researches in solar and stellar physics"
1915 "In recognition of his work on application of the selenium cell to stellar photometry"
1916 "For his numerous and important contributions to spectroscopy and astronomical physics"
1918 "For discovering and developing a method of determining the distances of the stars by means of a spectrograph"
1919 "In recognition of his researches in physics and astronomy, chiefly by means of interferometers"
1920 "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"
1921 "For his discovery of the so-called Zeeman effect and for its application on magneto-optics"
1922 "For his remarkably valuable contributions to knowledge of the order of stellar evolution"
1924 "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"
1926 "For his contributions to astronomical science"
1928 "For his researches on nebulae, new stars, and planetary atmospheres"
1931 "In recognition of her astronomical work, in particular for cataloging the spectra of stars"
1932 "For his spectroscopic researches"
1934 "For his able and consistent labors in stellar radial velocities, and related studies energetically pursued for nearly 30 years"
1936 "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"
1940 "In recognition of his contributions to astronomical physics; more especially his researches on the spectra and chemical composition of gaseous nebulae"
1942 "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"
1946 "In recognition of his many important contributions to astronomical physics, in particular those relating to his researches in stellar spectroscopy"
1948 "In recognition of his contributions to astronomical physics, more particularly his researches on the generation of energy in the sun and stars"
1949 "For his contributions to astronomical physics"
1951 "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"
1955 "For his pioneer work on the 21 cm radiation of neutral hydrogen"
1957 "For his original and outstanding work leading to the discovery of magnetic fields in stars and also the general magnetic field of the sun"
1961 "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"
1963 "For his achievements in solar spectroscopy"
1965 "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"
1968 "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"
1971 "For his leadership in, and major contributions to, the field of astrophysics"
1974 "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"
1977 and "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"
1980 "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"
1985 "For his pioneering studies of pulsars, including the fundamental measurements of orbit perturbations by gravitational radiation and other general relativistic effects"
1989 and "For the first three-dimensional view of some of the remarkable large-scale filamentary structures of our visible universe"
1993 and "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"
1997 "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"
2001 and "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"
2005 "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"
2009 "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"