Louise Webster Prize
Prize named for
Dr Louise Webster completed her PhD on southern planetary nebulae at Mount Stromlo and went on to hold positions overseas before returning as a Commissioning Astronomer at the AAT and an inaugural staff astronomer at the AAO. In 1978 she joined the University of New South Wales, where she worked as an academic staff member until she passed away in 1990 at the age of 49, after a long illness. Louise was passionate about the importance of mentoring her younger colleagues in the early stages of their research careers. A brief outline of Louise's astronomical career has been written by John Storey and Don Faulkner (PASA 9 (1), 6-7, 1991).
Astronomical Society of Australia's Annual Scientific Meeting
The Louise Webster Prize is awarded annually by the Astronomical Society of Australia in recognition of outstanding research by a scientist early in their post-doctoral career. The Prize will be awarded on the basis of the scientific impact of a single research paper, which has the applicant as first author. The research paper can be in any area of astronomy or a closely related field. The prize is intended for work carried out primarily after completion of a postgraduate degree.
The Prize consists of a medal together with an award of $1,000 and ASA membership for the following calendar year. The recipient will be invited to present a paper on their research at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Astronomical Society of Australia, where the prize will be presented. Limited travel funds to support attendance at the ASA science meeting may be made available at the discretion of the ASA Council.
To be eligible for the Prize, the applicant:
- must have had their PhD conferred within five years* prior to the nomination deadline.
- must have published the nominated research paper in a refereed scientific journal, appearing in final published form within five years* prior to the nomination deadline.
- must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident at the nomination deadline or, if not, the nominated research paper must have been published with affiliation to an Australian institution.
- must have been a member of the ASA for at least two years prior to nomination for the award.
* Acceptable leaves of absence from active research will be taken into consideration when determining eligibility.
For more information on the Louise Webster Prize, visit http://asa.astronomy.org.au/lwp.php.
The 2017 Louise Webster Prize is awarded to
Awarded for the paper, "Real-time detection of an extreme scattering event: Constraints on Galactic plasma lenses", Bannister et al. (2016), Science, Vol. 351, Issue 6271, pp. 354-356.
The Bannister, et.al. paper describes the application of a novel technique for detecting and monitoring extreme scattering events (ESEs). It demonstrates improved modelling of ESEs and implications for understanding the structure of the interstellar medium and the total mass of the Milky Way.
The many muses of radio variability from the ATESE survey
Session 25, T118, Fri, 14 Jul, 11:00–11:30 a.m., Molonglo Theatre
The Australia Telescope Extreme Scattering Events (ATESE) survey has been running on the Australia Telescope Compact Array for the last 3 years. It has uncovered remarkable diversity in the light curves of extragalactic radio sources, including extreme scattering events, intraday variability, and flares from active galactic nuclei. This variability has inspired surprising insights into tiny structures in the interstellar medium, the size and shape of the emission region around a supermassive black hole, and the nature of molecular gas around hot stars. I will describe the survey, its main achievements, and public data release.