New Class of 51 Pegasi b Fellows Announced

The first exoplanet orbiting a Sun-like star was discovered in 1995, when astronomers Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz of the Geneva Observatory detected a back-and-forth wobble in the movement of the existing star 51 Pegasi. Since the discovery of this first exoplanet, named 51 Pegasi b, there have been many exciting developments in the field of planetary astronomy: more than 3,500 worlds beyond our solar system have been confirmed; the 7-planet TRAPPIST-1 system was discovered; a planet around our nearest star, Proxima Centauri, was detected; and novel ground and space telescope technology continues to go on sky. The 51 Pegasi b Fellowship Program was launched in 2017 to build on this momentum by supporting talented early career scientists in this nascent field.

Today, the Heising-Simons Foundation is pleased to announce the eight recipients of this year’s 51 Pegasi b Fellowships. These fellows are amongst the most promising and gifted researchers working in the field of planetary astronomy. Recipients will receive a research grant of up to $375,000 over three years to pursue innovative independent research ideas, take risks, and tackle challenging questions that will accelerate the field.

The Heising-Simons Foundation congratulates:

Marta Bryan, Ph.D. candidate in astrophysics at Caltech
Host Institution: University of California, Berkeley | Faculty Mentor: Professor Courtney Dressing

Sivan Ginzburg, Ph.D. candidate in physics at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel
Host Institution: University of California, Berkeley | Faculty Mentor: Professor Eugene Chiang

Thaddeus Komacek, Ph.D. candidate in planetary science at the University of Arizona
Host Institution: University of Chicago | Faculty Mentor: Professor Dorian Abbott

Aaron Rizzuto, Ph.D. in astronomy and astrophysics at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia
Host Institution: University of Texas at Austin | Faculty Mentor: Professor Adam Kraus

Christopher Spalding, Ph.D. candidate in planetary science at Caltech
Host Institution: Yale University | Faculty Mentor: Professor Greg Laughlin

Jason Wang, Ph.D. candidate in astrophysics at the University of California, Berkeley
Host Institution: Caltech | Faculty Mentor: Professor Dimitri Mawet

Ian Wong, Ph.D. candidate in planetary science at Caltech
Host Institution: Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Faculty Mentor: Professor Richard P. Binzel

Ya-Lin Wu, Ph.D. candidate in astronomy and astrophysics at University of Arizona
Host Institution: University of Texas at Austin | Faculty Mentor: Professor Brendan Bowler

 

Click here to learn more about the fellows and their research.

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