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Neil A. Gehrels honored with George W. Goddard Award

21 April 2009

Neil Gehrels chief of the Astropartical Physics Laboratory at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, USA, is the 2009 winner of the George W. Goddard award in recognition of his pioneering contributions in opening the gamma-ray spectral window as its own astronomical discipline through his leadership of the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory and the Swift Mission.

Dr. John C. Mather, senior project scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope states, "Dr. Gehrels has a sustained record of innovation and achievement in astrophysics that has brought him worldwide recognition and opened the new field of gamma-ray astronomy. His papers on the discovery of the origin of short gamma-ray bursts and many other topics are referenced at the very high rate of 1000 citations per year."

Gehrels has led gamma ray astronomy missions throughout his NASA career, beginning with the INTernational Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory (INTEGRAL) and continuing through the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory and currently with the SWIFT mission, which recently monitored.

The George W. Goddard Award is given annually in recognition of exceptional achievement in optical or photonic instrumentation for aerospace, atmospheric science, or astronomy. The award is for the invention and development of a new technique, photonic instrumentation, instrument, or system. An honorarium of $2,000 will be presented.

For more information on this year's recipient and past winners, visit http://spie.org/x3066.xml.

SPIE presents several yearly awards that recognize outstanding individual and team technical accomplishments and meritorious service to the Society. SPIE urges you to nominate a colleague for his or her outstanding achievements. Nominations may be made through October 1 of any given year and are considered active for three years from the submission date. Visit SPIE.org/x1164.xml for instructions and nomination forms.