First, the top two finishers of the league’s National Young Astronomers Award Program will be on hand next week after earning a free trip to the convention. Justin Tieman from Lee’s Summit, Missouri, won first place in this program for his “Alien Worlds” project. He hypothesized that an amateur astronomer could detect an exoplanet with only a backyard telescope by using differential photometry software, which his experiment verified. Meanwhile, Travis Le from Aica, Hawaii, earned second place after his work “Determining ‘Hot Spots’ Through Correlations of CMES and Solar Flares” resolved five “hot spots” on the Sun where possible coronal mass ejections could occur.
Other award categories of the Jack Horkheimer Service and Journalism Awards include the Jack Horkheimer/Parker Award and the Jack Horkheimer/O’Meara Journalism Award. Samantha Carter of Fairview, Texas, receives the former for her service to her astronomy club, the Texas Astronomical Society, and to the Texas Star Party. She has also coordinated activities for her Girl Scout troop. Katelyn Skaer from Roswell, Georgia, a member of the Atlanta Astronomy Club, earned the journalism award for her essay “A Star is Born.” All top finishers in the Jack Horkheimer Award program receive $1,000 and an award plaque recognizing their special accomplishments.
It’s great to see so many young people involved in astronomy and earning recognition thanks to programs like those of the Astronomical League. Congrats to all the winners and the other entrants!