Astronomical League names award winners

Posted by David Eicher
on Tuesday, July 01, 2014

The Astronomical League, the nation’s affiliation of astronomy clubs, has just announced two award winners for 2014. I give you two news releases from League President Carroll Iorg for details:

The Astronomical League Award is Announced
Kansas City, MO —The Astronomical League is pleased to announce the winner of the 2014 Astronomical League Award. The Astronomical League Award is presented to any person, either amateur or professional, who has made worthwhile contributions to the science of astronomy on a national or international level.

This year’s winner is David Hans Hough, Ph.D., professor of Physics and Astronomy at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.

Dr. Hough is a longtime supporter of astronomy and the Astronomical League, including its National Young Astronomer Award program. The Astronomical League is honored to present this top award of the organization at its national convention, ALCon 2014, in San Antonio on July 12.

The Astronomical League announces Youth Award Winners
Kansas City, MO —The Astronomical League is pleased to announce the top finishers in its youth award programs for 2014.

The first-place winner is Pranav Sivakumar, from Tower Lakes, Illinois. A freshman at Barrington High School, Barrington, Illinois, his astronomical project uses a novel method developed to identify gravitationally lensed quasars from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Understanding gravitational lensing can help decipher the properties of dark matter and dark energy.

The second-place winner is Katie Shen, who lives in Potomac Falls, Virginia. Katie, a junior at Loudoun Academy of Science in Sterling, Virginia, titled her research project, “Census of HII Regions in Sloan Digital Sky Survey.” These are regions of actively forming stars inside galaxies.

The top two finishers have each won an expenses-paid trip to receive their awards at ALCon, the national convention of the Astronomical League, being held in San Antonio, Texas, July 9–12, 2014. In addition, the first-place winner will receive a special telescope from Explore Scientific, sponsor of the National Young Astronomer Award program.

The 2014 first-place winner of the League’s Jack Horkheimer Service Award is Hagan Hensley, whose hometown is San Antonio. Hagan’s tremendous contribution to outreach activities for his astronomical society, the San Antonio League of Sidewalk Astronomers, earned him this award, which is sponsored by the family of the late Jack Horkheimer, of the PBS astronomy program Jack Horkheimer: Star Gazer. In addition to receiving his award, Hagan will receive a $1,000 check in recognition of this special achievement.

GE Austin is the first-place winner of the Jack Horkheimer/O’Meara Journalism Award for 2014. The title of his essay was “The Mass of Life.” He lives in the state of Oregon and will be receiving his award in person at ALCon 2014. He will also receive a $1,000 check for his special first-place essay.

Our NYAA and Horkheimer Service awards are open to high school age youth. The Horkheimer Journalism award is open to youth ages 8–14. For specific entry guidelines, please refer to the Astronomical League website,

About the Astronomical League: The Astronomical League is the largest group of amateur astronomers in the world. Its membership numbers 15,000 from over 280 societies and individuals. Our mission for over 60 years has been to promote the science of astronomy by fostering astronomical education, providing incentives for astronomical observation and research, and assisting communication among amateur astronomical societies. The organization is a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity.

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