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2020 Rubin Prize Winner - Jacqueline Faherty

Prof. Jo BovyThe American Astronomical Society’s Division on Dynamical Astronomy (DDA) is pleased to announce that the 2020 recipient of the Vera Rubin Early Career Award is Dr. Jacqueline Faherty of the American Museum of Natural History.

The award is made in recognition of Dr. Faherty’s work on the kinematics of very faint stars in the Milky Way as well as her leadership in developing unique ways to engage the public and professional science teams with the astronomical field fundamental to the study of dynamics: astrometry, the precise measurement of celestial objects’ positions and motions on the sky.

Dr. Faherty earned her PhD from Stony Brook University in 2011 under the direction of Adam Burgasser, Michael Shara, and Frederick Walter. There she initiated the Brown Dwarf Kinematics Project, which measured and compiled the 6D positions and velocities of all known brown dwarfs within 20 parsecs (about 65 light-years) of the Sun -- a legacy data set for the astronomical community. She has used astrometric measurements to study a wide range of phenomena related to the kinematics and dynamics of young brown dwarfs and exoplanets.

Dr. Faherty has also advanced and supported dynamical astronomy by engaging scientists, students, and the general public at the American Museum of Natural History with dramatic visualizations of results from the Gaia space observatory. She has contributed to forming numerous essential collaborations, including the influential “BDNYC” research group and Backyard Worlds, a citizen-science project that engages members of the public to help discover previously missed brown dwarfs near the Sun.

Dr. Faherty will be invited to give a lecture at the 52nd annual DDA meeting in the spring of 2021.