Charlene Heisler Prize
Prize named for
During her short but highly productive career, Dr Charlene Heisler became an internationally-renowned astronomer. She moved to Australia in 1993 to take up a postdoctoral position at the Anglo-Australian Observatory and continued to work in Australian astronomy until her death in 1999 at the age of 37. Charlene always demonstrated that good science is fun and good scientists can be warm, sincere, people. A brief outline of Charlene's astronomical career has been written by Ray Norris.
Astronomical Society of Australia's Annual Scientific Meeting
The Charlene Heisler Prize is awarded annually by the Astronomical Society of Australia for the most outstanding PhD thesis in astronomy or a closely related field, accepted by an Australian university. The thesis research must show outstanding excellence and originality.
The Prize consists of a medal together with an award of $500 and ASA membership for the following calendar year. The recipient is invited to present a paper on their PhD research at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Astronomical Society of Australia, where the prize will be presented.
To be eligible for the Prize, the applicant's PhD thesis must have been accepted by an Australian university in the calendar year prior to the award. 'Accepted' is understood to mean all requirements for the degree have been completed, including any viva or similar, and that the applicant has been admitted to the degree by the appropriate university authority. It is not necessary for the degree to have been conferred. The research topic can be in any area of astronomy or a closely related field. There is no restriction on the nationality of applicants.
For more information on the Charlene Heisler Prize, visit http://asa.astronomy.org.au/chp.php.
The 2017 Charlene Heisler Prize is awarded to
Awarded for the PhD thesis, "Stellar Science with Cassini", completed at the University of Sydney, supervised by Peter Tuthill.
Taking data that were primarily intended to monitor the performance of the Cassini spacecraft, Stewart has produced an atlas of stellar spectra and used this unique approach to carry out an astrophysical study of two evolved stars.
Stellar Astrophysics with Cassini: Syzygies, Stardust and the Sizes of Stars
Session 8, T34, Tue, 11 Jul, 11:30 a.m. –12:00 p.m., Molonglo Theatre
The multi-national, multi-billion-dollar, Cassini mission has resulted in amazing insights into the complex Saturn system, dramatically improving our understanding of the planet, and its moons and rings. One particularly successful method employs the observation of bright stars as the planet's rings pass in front, allowing the study of the ring system. In this presentation I will demonstrate how such observations can also be used to investigate the stars themselves.
The technique is shown to be effective for measuring the spatial and spectral structure of evolved stars, including identification of molecular layers in the stellar atmosphere. It enables the recovery of high-angular-resolution 2D images of the inner regions of complex stellar systems, achieving resolutions not possible with regular telescopes. These observations are demonstrated to help constrain models of the behaviour of Mira variable stars, and to change our understanding of the inner nebula around IRC+10216.